Woodview Veterinary Clinic
Animal Wellness Center

Pre-purchase Examinations

Are you considering buying a new horse? Do you want to make sure he or she is healthy and sound before you write that big check? We can help!

An examination for purchase (aka "vet check") is always a good idea prior to making an investment as big as a new horse. The goal of the pre-purchase exam is to uncover any health conditions that the horse might have and to provide the potential buyer with as much information as possible regarding that animal.

There are 3 basic parts to this exam.

1) First is the general health evaluation where we ask about previous health history and any problems, take the horses temperature, pulse, and respiration, auscult (listen) the thorax (chest) and abdomen, evaluate the overall condition of the animal and look at its conformation. We will also look in the eyes and the mouth and palpate (feel) them all over.

2) Second is the lameness evaluation. On all four limbs we will use the hoof testers, flex the joints, palpate all the soft tissue structures to evaluate for pain, and look for evidence of previous injuries. A movement evaluation will also be performed. This includes watching the horse perform all three gaits in both directions on the lunge line and also in both directions with a rider on their back.

3) Lastly, we have the additional diagnostics. Any "red flags" from the previous two parts might cause us to recommend further diagnostics. A fecal exam, to look for intestinal parasites, and a coggins test from the date of the exam are always recommended. We may recommend x-rays of specific joints or bones if any unsoundness or evidence of pain was noted. Ultrasound can be used to evaluate soft tissue structures like tendons and ligaments and blood work such as a complete blood count and chemistry profile can give us information regarding internal organ function. Additionally any lumps or bumps that the horse may have can be sampled to determine exactly what they are. If the horse being examined is intended to be a performance horse, baseline x-rays are highly recommended. These will be valuable in future for comparison and for any future sale of the animal.

Every pre-purchase exam is slightly different. How much information that buyer wants to know dictates how many additional tests are performed. If you would like more information regarding pre-purchase exams or would like to schedule one, please contact our office today.

Woodview Veterinary Clinic
3284 Lighthouse Ln.
West Bend, WI 53090
(262)338-4146 (fax)