Prior to the investment of purchasing or leasing a new horse, a complete pre-purchase examination is highly recommended. The format can be tailored to the individual needs of the client, but usually involves a thorough physical examination from head to tail. The horse is also observed for soundness, and digital radiographs are encouraged to establish a baseline of skeletal changes. Reproductive exams, ultrasound exams, and upper airway endoscopies are among the ancillary procedures also available.
Why do a pre-purchase exam?
- To gather information about the horse
- Protect your investment
- Give you peace of mind
- Identify intended purpose and serviceability of horse
What will the veterinarian do?
- Obtain a medical and athletic history on the horse
- Inquire about intended purpose of horse
- Perform a thorough exam of the horse including:
- General Physical Exam
- Cardiovascular System
- Respiratory System
- Urogenital System
- Digestive System
- Nervous System
- Musculoskeletal System
- Perform a Soundness Exam
- Observation of gaits on hard and soft surfaces
- Forced flexion exams of all limbs
- General health screen
- Coggins Test
- Drug Screen
- Additional tests may be recommended on an individual basis (Lyme Titer, ACTH/Insulin, etc.)
- Radiographic Examination
- Basic (predefined or based on flexion tests) vs. Advanced (multiple views of multiple joints/limbs)
- Ancillary Diagnostics
- Breeding Soundness Exam + Diagnostics
- Upper Airway Endoscopy
- Nuclear Scintigraphy
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Discuss findings after all steps of the pre-purchase examination
If you’re taking the exciting step into horse ownership or adding another horse to the crew, please contact the clinic to discuss the best pre-purchase exam options for you and your new equine partner!