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Why a Veterinarian Should Test a Horse Before It’s Purchased

Why a Veterinarian Should Test a Horse Before It’s Purchased

Before purchasing a horse, discerning buyers often call upon the help of a veterinarian to conduct a pre-purchase examination. These incredibly useful tests can give the potential horse buyer the information they need to make a final decision. Read on to learn more about why a veterinarian should test a horse before it’s purchased.

Counteract the Buyer’s Tunnel Vision

When a buyer is ready for a veterinarian’s pre-purchase examination, they have probably already grown attached to the animal. After all, the prospect of owning a horse can excite anyone. Unfortunately, this excitement can come with rose-colored glasses. If you have fallen in love with a horse, the last thing you want is to hear about his defects.

Thankfully, veterinarians provide a reality check for eager horse buyers. By introducing an outside, unbiased perspective, veterinarians can either dissuade buyers from making an impulsive decision or confirm their greatest hopes about the animal.

Avoid Surprises

Another valid reason a veterinarian should test a horse before it’s purchased is that horses are full of surprises when they come to their new home. Horse owners worldwide can recall instances where a horse that looked spectacular in the stable becomes lame or unappealing when they moved into their new home. Worse yet, they may also display health concerns that were not readily apparent.

Pre-purchase examinations, although they cannot eliminate the possibility of future issues, tremendously decrease these surprises. Before you buy a horse, you should employ the help of a veterinarian to examine them, thereby lessening the chances of a sudden reveal when the horse comes home.

The Buyer Will Receive a Thorough Assessment

Even if you are certain you will purchase a horse regardless of the information provided by a veterinarian, you should still conduct a pre-purchase examination. An examination includes:

  • A basic health check of the animal’s eyes, teeth, skin, and lungs from the veterinarian. They will palpate the horse’s legs and abdomen, looking for red flags, like tenderness or heat.
  • They will perform a test of the horse’s response to stimuli, reflexes, coordination, and balance.
  • They will watch the horse’s trot and walk for signs of asymmetry, lameness, or shortness.

Some veterinarians will also use portable ultrasound devices to evaluate any soft tissue problems in the horse. A potential horse owner can walk away with a plethora of helpful information from a pre-purchase examination.