MSD Manual

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Typical Veterinary Prepurchase Examination

Typical Veterinary Prepurchase Examination

  • Detailed history, including examination of medical and reproductive records.

  • Thorough physical examination in the stable, including hands-on palpation, listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope, and eye examination.

  • Observation at the walk and trot on lead.

  • Observation at the canter and gallop, then rest and re-examination.

  • A Coggins test, which is a blood test for equine infectious anemia, should always be performed. A Coggins test is also almost always required by state regulation if a horse is to be transported across state lines. Your veterinarian can advise you of the current regulations in your area.

  • Other special diagnostic tests, such as soundness x-rays, blood tests, or examination with an endoscope, may be recommended based on findings of the physical examination. Regional requirements and conditions may also dictate certain tests.

  • State or country regulations may require vaccination for specific diseases before purchase. These are performed after the decision to buy has been made.