Equine Pre-Purchase Exams

Buying a horse is a big decision and it is recommended to have a Pre- Purchase Exam performed to detect any abnormal findings that may impact the future use of the horse. This includes a written report with the findings and professional advice by the vet. For more information, or to book an appointment, please contact us.

5 Stage Pre- Purchase Exam of the Horse

The Equine Veterinarians Australia group (EVA) has made a standard protocol for Pre- Purchase Exams of horses. At Yarra Ranges Animal Hospital we follow this “5-Stage Exam” which includes:

1. Clinical Exam:

  • Eyes
  • Mouth and teeth
  • Skin
  • Hearts & Lungs
  • Feet
  • Tendons, ligaments, backs & musculature

2. Horse in motion

  • Walking, trotting, lungeing, turning, backing
  • Flexion tests
  • Neurological function

3. Fast work/under saddle and cardiorespiratory fitness

4. Assess response & recovery from fast work

5. Special exam/sedation – dental, eyes, ears (head)

  • If indicated X-ray/endoscope/ultrasound can be requested or performed. We now have portable digital radiography for Pre Purchase Exams.

The pre-purchase exam is for the buyer of the horse, not for seller, and the vet performing the exam should not be the regular vet seeing the horse.

The pre-purchase exam does not give a pass or fail outcome. The vet will compose a list in report form stating the findings and the vet will give her opinion on the potential risks or consequences of those findings, or offer further testing if a risk assessment cannot be made on clinical findings alone.

The 5 stage pre purchase exam takes approximately 2 hours to perform. To book your Pre- Purchase Exam, please contact us.


We now have a new portable digital x-ray machine which means we can come to your property, x-ray your horse and get the images straight away! This aids in diagnostics as we save time and it allows repeated radiographs of a certain area if indicated. The images can then easily be stored digitally at our clinic and/or sent off to other consulting veterinarians if needed. This also serves as an option for a pre-purchase exam where radiopgraphs sometimes may be needed or wanted.

If you want your horse examined and possibly radiographed, don’t hesitate to call us.

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