Pre-purchase Examination

We offer thorough Pre-Purchase Examination services to give you valuable information to help you determine if a potential horse is a good match for you.  

Know what you’re committing to before you buy

It is generally recommended that all horses be examined by a Veterinarian prior to purchase. If you're considering purchasing a horse for an athletic endeavor, the pre-purchase examination is of utmost importance for you.

What is the pre-purchase examination?

  • A thorough pre-purchase examination takes between 2 and 3 hours
  • All the major systems of the horse are examined
    • Eyes, ears, heart, lungs, skin, external reproductive organs, GI, musculoskeletal, neurologic
  • Horses are evaluated in motion
    • Plan on riding the horse for the observing Veterinarian
    • Ideally, the horse should perform its intended discipline
  • Flexion tests are performed
    • These tests put pressure on specific sets of joints to try to determine if mild joint abnormalities are beginning to develop
  • Radiographs and possibly ultrasound
    • Due to the high incidence of joint disease in athletic horses, a full series of radiographs is generally recommended
    • This can help identify early joint abnormalities that may be performance limiting in the future

What will I get out of it?

  • Determine if there are any health problems (heart, lungs, eyes, tumors, etc) that are likely to be detrimental to the horse’s athletic potential or lifespan
  • Determine if there are orthopedic problems (lameness)
    • Moderate and severe problems generally warrant a recommendation against purchase
    • Mild problems generally result in a frank discussion as to the prognosis for performing in the intended discipline
    • This discussion should include: estimated costs of managing these potentially limiting problems, possible effects on resale, estimated timeframe for worsening of progressive conditions
  • Discussion of conformation and current trimming/shoeing

Lameness, severe conformational faults, heart disease, respiratory abnormalities, and behavioral problems are the most common abnormal findings that lead to a horse not being recommended for purchase. Other tests such as laboratory analysis of blood, drug screens, ECG, endoscopy (part of basic exam for all racehorses), and breeding soundness examination may be recommended in addition to the basic pre-purchase examination in specific cases.

Making an Informed Decision

The pre-purchase examination does not constitute a guarantee that a horse will be able to perform its intended function. It is an examination at a specific point in time detailing any existing abnormalities or concerns, so you can make an informed decision.

 The purchase price is just the first of many expenses incurred with owning a horse!  Avoid the pain of heartbreak, time investment, and treatment cost of buying the wrong horse! Call Meddleton Equine Clinic to schedule a thorough PPE prior to buying any horse for any price!

Get the best for your horse
— choose progressive services from vets who care

505.344.2680