Crespo Vet – An interview with João Crespo

It’s CRESPO VET Boldly flying in to save the day!!!

X-raying and testing flexions where ever he goes! The catchy name sums up images of capes and super heroes for me but …… Jokes aside, and in all seriousness having a top vet to provide you with a professional and knowledgeable service is a vital part of the process when you are buying a horse and or requiring an on-going service.

staffJoão Crespo is an FEI vet with huge energy and enthusiasm.  His professionalism and commitment to his work is rapidly gaining him high regard both in Portugal and Internationally. It’s this professionalism coupled with his holistic approach that has meant Lusitano Horse Finder, works with him regularly. We can confidently recommend him to provide veterinary services from  – full 5 stage pre-purchase examinations, to follow up work, having your stallion castrated to a complete horse care service, should your horses remain in Portugal for further training.

Happy Clients

We have many clients that have received an excellent service, even in cases where they have not been able to come to view the horse they are purchasing. In cases such as this, it is even more vital the vet handling the pre-purchase exam is able to communicate fully with you, consider all aspects and provide you with step by step clear communication throughout the process.


João Crespo, graduated from Universidade de Trás os Montes e Alto Douro in 1996. He completed his internship at Serviço Nacional Coudélico. He has since gained further experience, working with well known Equine Veterinarians – such as Jeffrey Lane (UK), Phillipe Benoit (France) and Alan Ruggles (USA). It was in the USA, where João became interested in sport horse medicine and imaging. In 2005 he graduated from Sittensen, Germany in Chiropractic medicine with the IAVC, and has since rapidly introduced a holistic approach to his work. Over the last 17 years, he has regularly attended the American Association of Equine Practitioners (USA).  In 2012 he became an Official Veterinary Delegate for the FEI with numerous participations at national and international shows.

The veterinary clinic is located in Vila Nova de Gaia, close to Porto. The clinic offers a wide range of dynamic services such as –

DR X-ray system from EKLIN and a Digital ultrasound from Sonosite which provides the best possible images in all examinations.

Other imaging equipment available, includes an Endoscopy and Video endoscopy with a 1,67m and a 3.0m endoscope for gastroscopy evaluation.

They have an in-house lab for full Hematology tests (blood tests).

The clinic also works closely with Dra Maria João Costa, ( providing a complete rehabilitation service, with a holistic approach, that includes Acupuncture, laser therapy and homeopathy.

crespo vet 6_2I asked João, what he thinks of modern day Lusitanos and the direction they are taking in breeding and sport.

João replied “Now Lusitano Horses are rapidly becoming significant in high level sports, with examples such as Relampago do Retiro, Guizo or more recently Rubi, Robinson de Massa and Batuta – the demand on them physically is increasing. We believe in this trend this set to grow as the horses are rapidly evolving within the modern breeding methods to suit the requirements of modern sport. In addition the breed is increasing in popularity around the World. Due to this we are fully aware of the greater pressure this breed is now subjected to and it’s a constant reminder of the importance of the Pre-purchase examinations”.  João went to state that pre-purchase exams make up a large part of their work.

I asked João to describe what a pre-purchase exam involves –

“We follow a 5 stage protocol examination, followed by an X-Ray evaluation. It’s an internationally recognised approach. Most of our examinations are for foreign clients, who have their own vets, who we respect and are happy to work with. We process the information about the horses we examine, in the most objective and thorough way, in order to provide a final report that can be clearly understood by all involved.  We use international standards and grading systems, to ensure the results are impartial and factorial. In addition we film many stages of the exam, so you can see for instance the actual flexion tests”.

Click here to see more details of a pre-purchase exam

João – “After purchasing their horse, some clients choose to leave them in Portugal for further training. Based on the same principles, we are available to assist clients in all ways required, keeping everyone updated with regard to all clinical conditions. Our aim is to create great team work”.

Stallion or Gelding

Many of our clients cannot keep stallions at their premises or they are in a livery situation that has no suitable conditions for stallion. As a result many choose to have their new horse castrated. I asked João his advice and thoughts on castrating stallions both older and younger.

“If the time comes for you to castrate your Lusitano

there are a few aspects you need to consider. There are two techniques used, either the horse is standing or laying down – both of them ensure an absolutely pain free procedure. The standing procedure uses a ‘local anaesthetic’, thus avoiding the effects of a general anaesthesia. Although the rate of complications is minimal, under 1%, this is not a risk free procedure. The rehabilitation period takes about three weeks, with the horse resuming work the day after the procedure. Since an open technique is used, exercising the horse contributes to natural drainage of the surgical incisions.

When a stallion is castrated, the amount of male hormones produced are reduced, these hormones significantly influence the stallion behaviour. However, as behaviour is not all in-born but developed throughout life, castrating an older horse with established behaviour will not have the same level of behavioural changes, compared to castrating a younger horse”.

Other Services

The clinic also offers advice on correct nutrition, hoof x-rays to assist the farrier and many other services to ensure a holistic approach to your horse’s on-going care.

If you would like more information or have something particular to ask please don’t hesitate to get in touch OR……..

If you need Crespo Vet to come to the rescue Click CRESPO VET now!

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