As horses are a financial and an emotional investment, a Pre-Purchase Exam (PPE) is recommended prior to purchasing any horse. A PPE will determine if the horse is suitable for its intended use, regardless of level. The thorough physical exam, conformation analysis and lameness examination can be complimented by referral for and review of relevant radiographs (x-rays), ultrasonography, and complete laboratory services.
Pre-Purchase Examination fee includes:
- Pre-Examination Consultation
- Discuss intended use of animal
- Known history of animal
- Radiographic recommendations
- Physical Examination
- Conformation Analysis
- Gait Analysis
- Flexion Tests
- Post-examination Consultation with the doctor
- Written report of findings
As a PPE is thorough and time consuming, the horse (and handler) must be cooperative and patient. A fractious animal may be impossible to accurately evaluate, leading to an incomplete exam and overlooked problems. Appropriate footing is critical for a thorough lameness evaluation. Both firm and soft level footing is necessary. The horse must know how to lounge on a line or in a round pen for lameness to be visualized. If the horse is broke to ride, a rider and appropriate tack is needed for the under saddle component of the exam.
Some medical conditions or conformation faults are manageable or may never seriously affect the horse's performance. The veterinarian’s responsibility is not to Pass or Fail the horse, only to interpret current physical findings and advise the purchaser as to the potential limitations of the animal.
Remember, the most important part of the PPE is good communication. No horse is perfect in every regard. I am here to help you make an informed decision about the horse’s suitability for its intended purpose.