Why Get a Pre-Purchase Examination
A horse is an investment, whether you want him or her for enjoyment, or you're trying to grow a business. It's possible for a horse to have issues that could cost you in the long run. At SEVS, we recommend having a pre-purchase examination performed prior to buying a horse to gather information about the horse's current health and soundness. Although no horse is perfect, a pre-purchase examination helps to evaluate a horse for any pre-existing conditions, as well as potential problems. Plus, it can determine if a horse has any problems that could affect its intended use.
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, we will observe the horse in all gaits. We also perform flexion tests to exacerbate any subtle lameness issues. Part of the exam may consist of observing under saddle, and may include diagnostic imaging, such as x-rays.
We thoroughly assess the overall condition of the horse and look for any issues that could affect the horse's suitability. We evaluate the horse for signs of any previous surgeries or injuries. We examine the horse's eyes to assess any visual or anatomical abnormalities. 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.
There isn't a set pre-purchase examination that's standard for every horse. Prior to performing the pre-purchase the veterinarian will discuss goals of the examination with the prospective buyer to ensure the examination adequately defines the suitability of the horse.
What the Results Mean
The findings of the pre-purchase aren't a "pass" or "fail." Even if the exam determines the horse has health problems or temperament issues, it doesn't mean the horse isn't suited for the intended use.
We will discuss results and share findings of the examination with the buyer; letting them know if there are any concerning findings. SEVS also provides a written report of the exam findings to the buyer. The pre-purchase examination is designed to give the prospective buyer the most information to make an informed decision on whether the horse fits their needs.
To learn more about or schedule a pre-purchase exam, contact SEVS today at 336-595-6540.