A pre purchase exam (PPE) is a complete evaluation performed by an experienced Equine Veterinarian of your prospective horse’s health and soundness. A thorough physical examination is performed which includes listening to the heart and lungs, visual examination, neurologic evaluation and soundness exam. In addition radiographs, ultrasound, endsocopy or blood tests may be utilized. The particulars of the examination will be determined by you and the Veterinarian performing the examination and are usually based o n the intended use and purchase price of the particular horse involved.
Whether you pay $500 or $50,000 for a horse, a pre-purchase exam should be performed. The PPE is designed to point out potential problems a horse may have and determine if the horse would be suitable for the intended use. The PPE will help you buy with your head not just your heart. Buying a horse with a known lameness or other health problem may result in an unfavorable experience and vet bills to diagnose or treat problems that had been identified during the pre-purchase. The PPE is an invaluable tool in helping you decide if this is the right horse for you.
The PPE is meant only to point out known or potential problems in order to guide a decision to buy; it is not meant to diagnose lameness or disease. The PPE is a very thorough evaluation but it can only tell what is there on that day and so is not intended to give a prognosis of future soundness or health. Most veterinarians recognize that even very nice horses sometimes have flaws; therefore they do not pass or fail a horse on a pre-purchase exam. They only point out problems. It’s up to each individual buyer to determine if the problems are worth taking on.