Pre-Purchase Horse Evaluations
The pre-purchase evaluation enables us to gather and interpret the information necessary to help you select the horse best suited to your needs.
For us to fairly evaluate the horse, the animal should be fit, conditioned, and in training for its intended use. A horse that has been laid off for some time will be difficult to evaluate for lameness.
At Sturgis Veterinary Hospital & Equine Center, we want to help you make sure your next horse will meet all the physical demands of your training program.
The Purpose of a Pre-Purchase Exam
Pre-purchase examinations are often requested by a potential horse buyer.
The objective is to reduce the buyer’s risks when purchasing a new horse and determine the general health and athletic soundness of the horse for sale.
The examination is not meant to guarantee that the horse is sound.
It is an attempt, on the part of the examining veterinarian, to ascertain any preexisting problem or any potential problem that may affect future soundness (e.g., degenerative joint disease).
If you are considering purchasing a horse, contact us. We will coordinate with you and the seller to book a pre-purchase examination.
Pre-Purchase Exam Steps
Pre-Purchase exams consist of five main steps:
- A standing evaluation of the entire horse, including the heart, lungs, eyes, gastrointestinal tract, musculoskeletal system, and overall body condition.
- A moving exam where the horse is observed on soft and hard footing, and if possible, under saddle.
- A series of flexion tests to evaluate each limb region.
- A standard set of X-rays. Additional X-rays can be taken if a buyer has specific concerns.
- Blood work — including Coggins, additional chemistry work, and a Complete Blood Count (CBC) to evaluate organ function and blood cell values. A complete drug screen may be done at the owner's request.