The purpose of a prepurchase exam is to provide you with information to help insure that you are purchasing a horse that suits your wants and needs. It is a very thorough exam that usually takes a minimum of 1 ½-2 hours. It is important to discuss your goals and requirements in buying a horse with your veterinarian so the exam can be tailored to your needs. The veterinarian’s job is not to pass or fail the horse, but to gather all the pertinent information to help you make and informed decision.
The prepurchase exam may include:
- Full physical exam including but not limited to:
- Medical history
- Evaluation of heart, lungs, skin, digestive system, etc.
- Ophthalmic exam
- Oral exam
- Performance evaluation
- Gait analysis
- Hooftester evaluation
- Flexion tests
- Neurologic tests
- Work on the lunge line/ under saddle
- Additional diagnostic procedures
- Stallions or mares being purchased for breeding often require special tests to determine their reproductive status.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or request more information. Deciding exactly what should be included in the prepurchase examination requires good communication between you and your veterinarian.