Doctor examining horse hoof

Just like any pet, it's possible for a horse to have issues that could cost you in the long run. At Anderson Equine Veterinary Clinic, we advise a person to get a pre-purchase examination before buying their mare or stallion to know exactly what he or she is getting into.

Why Get a Pre-Purchase Examination

Although no horse is perfect, a pre-purchase examination helps to evaluate a horse for any pre-existing conditions, as well as potential problems. This evaluation checks for any problems that could affect the soundness of a horse. Plus, it can determine if a horse has any problems that could affect the horse's suitability.

What to Expect During a Pre-Purchase Examination

Generally, we recommend both the buyer and seller be present for the exam to alleviate any conflicts.

During the examination, Dr. Anderson will observe your prospective horse in his or her stall. The doctor analyzes how the horse trots and walks. Dr. Anderson observes the horse's flexion. Part of the exam consists of looking under the saddle and possibly includes imaging like an ultrasound or radiograph.

Dr. Anderson assesses the overall condition of the horse, such as his or her weight and looks for any issues that could affect the horse eating normally. We are able to assess the true age of the horse through an oral exam as well.

Dr. Anderson evaluates the horse for signs of any previous surgeries or injuries. The doctor looks in the horse's eyes to assess his or her cornea, iris, and lens.

The exam also includes listening to the horse's heart and lungs to check for cardiovascular and pulmonary issues, such as arrhythmias. Pre-purchase examinations are also a time to evaluate the horse's temperament.

Keep in mind, further testing may be necessary to complete the evaluation. There isn't a set pre-purchase examination that's standard for every horse.

This is the time to ask any questions you have. If you want to know about the care needed for any issues, we encourage you to inquire at this time. It's also the time to request any information about problems that you feel could be an issue. Additionally, for first-time buyers, feel free to ask any questions you have about the horse's care.

What the Results Mean

The results aren't a pass or fail. Even if Dr. Anderson determines the horse has health problems or temperament issues, it doesn't mean the horse isn't able to be adopted.

Dr. Anderson discusses the results with you and shares their findings. Dr. Anderson can let you know if you should be concerned about any of the results. This assessment is merely for your benefit. It's so you can make a sound decision on if the horse fits your needs.

You may want to write down any of Dr. Anderson's findings and determine if you want to purchase the horse based on the pros and cons.

The pre-purchase evaluation assists you in making sure a horse can work for what you need and want him or her for. It can help you to determine if the price of the horse is right for you and could possibly identify issues that could cost you in the future. 

To learn more about or schedule a pre-purchase exam, contact Anderson Equine Veterinary Clinic today at 800-462-8749.

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