Clients who are interested in purchasing a horse can request to have a GVEC veterinarian examine the horse prior to purchase. The goal of the exam is to identify any pre-existing problems that may affect the intended use of the horse. It is important to remember that the purchase examination can only give information about the horse’s condition on the day of the exam. While this information is very important in making an informed decision about whether or not to purchase a horse, it cannot guarantee future health or soundness.
The pre-purchase exam includes:
• Thorough inspection of the horse, including assessments of the temperament, body condition, skin, eyes, mouth, heart, lungs, limbs, and feet.
• Musculoskeletal exam, including palpation of joints and tendons, a movement exam (in-hand, on lunge-line, and under saddle), flexion tests, and application of hoof testers.
Diagnostic tools, such as digital or conventional radiography, ultrasonography, and endoscopy are available and can be utilized to further assess the horse. Laboratory tests for drug screening are also optional. If the horse is a mare intended for breeding, a breeding soundness exam can be added to the prepurchase exam.