Pre-Purchase Examinations

Buying a new horse? Whether you are looking for your next grand prix mount, or a steady trail-riding companion, we can give you peace of mind at Meadow Lane Equine Clinic by offering comprehensive pre-purchase examinations. Our basic pre-purchase examination includes a critical soundness evaluation on all surfaces, observation under saddle, flexions and hoof testing. We also perform a complete nose to tail physical exam. This includes palpation of the limbs and back, evaluation of conformation, and assessment of range of motion. A neurologic exam is also performed.

Depending on your horse’s age, intended use, and the clinical findings on the soundness evaluation, we may recommend that you take digital x-rays of your horse. In young horses or prospective sales horses, x-rays can be useful to identify any congenital conditions such as OCD that may impact the horse’s ability to perform, or to be resold at a later date. In older horses, screening for conditions like osteoarthritis that may or may not be clinical, can be useful to predict future soundness and serve as a baseline to monitor the conditions over time. Digital ultrasound is also useful to evaluate soft tissues that are common sources of lameness, such as the suspensory ligaments and stifle. The Lameness Locator can also be a useful tool for objective soundness evaluation in certain prepurchase examinations.

Other optional tests for pre-purchase examinations include laboratory blood tests. A complete blood cell count and serum biochemistry are essential to screen for systemic abnormalities that are not yet clinically visible. Kidney or liver disease, are some of the conditions that can be identified with these tests. Equine Infectious Anemia (a Coggin’s test) is also recommended for any horses that have not been regularly tested or that have come from endemic areas. For the sport horse, we also highly recommend collecting a blood sample at the time of the pre-purchase examination to perform a drug screen. This test identifies and quantifies any performance enhancing agents such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or sedatives that could impact your horse’s evaluation.

Through comprehensive pre-purchase examinations, our goal is to provide you with all the information you need to make a sound purchasing decision.