- When buying a horse, a pre-purchase exam is a very important service which we provide. This is often overlooked by some owners but can end up costing greatly later.
- This serves to identify any preexisting problems which may hinder a horse's future performance and reduce buyer risk. The inspection usually consists of different phases in which we examine all aspects of the horse's health.
We as veterinarians play a very important role in pre-purchase exams. The pre-purchase examinations on horses for the prospective buyer usually include a detailed physical exam of the horse, assessing all the body systems, including heart and upper and lower airways, the eyes, musculoskeletal system and reproductive systems if requested.
The lameness exam involves watching the horse walking and trotting in hand with flexion tests and on the lunge line. Sometimes we also evaluate the horse with the rider. We use, at owner’s or buyer’s request, state-of-the-art diagnostic tools such as digital radiographs, ultrasound and endoscopy. We also do routine blood work screening (CBC and chemistry). We explain and record any medical abnormalities and concerns revealed while performing the exam.
Parts of the exam
We start with a thorough identification of the horse. Vital signs of the horse will also be assessed along with an examination of the horses eyes, teeth and manure.
Then we perform a general assessment of the horses body and skin condition.
Upper and lower airways are assessed by inspection, palpation and auscultation.
The musculoskeletal exam begins with palpation of the limbs followed by watching the horse move in a straight line walking and trotting. Riding the horse may or may not be incorporated into the exam, according to the intended use of the horse. Flexion tests are performed along with a thorough hoof examination.
When doing extensive radiographs, we offer special packages. All costs and estimates can be obtained by calling our office and during the examination with the veterinarian performing the exam.