Mon-Fri 8 to 5:30
Sat. by appointment only
31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009
Click here for map
651-222-0885 Twin Cities
PREPURCHASE EVALUATION (PPE)
An experienced veterinarian
utilizes their detective and intuitive skills to diagnose
medical problems or lameness issues. This evaluation of a
horse’s suitability for an intended use is done with the
buyer in mind.
Before your Prepurchase Exam
The buyer fills out the
prepurchase information form and provides CVS
with a complete description for the intended future
use of the horse.
The CVS staff records the buyer’s information when
the appointment is scheduled
The seller fills out the prepurchase exam history
An appointment is conveniently scheduled with Dr.
Winter so the buyer and seller can both be present.
It's all about the Buyer
A prepurchase evaluation is scheduled when a buyer contacts
At that time, the buyer becomes our client and the results
of the exam belong to them. The evaluation ends when we have
collected the data from the physical and lameness exams and
have performed all agreed upon diagnostics. Within a few
days, we mail a completed copy of the Prepurchase Form to
the buyer. We do not pass or fail a horse. The report
reviews the conditions or current status of the horse at the
time of the exam. It is an opinion, and not a guarantee for
the future soundness of the horse. The information that we
accumulate belongs to the buyer. With the buyer’s
permission, the information can be shared with the seller.
Physical problems are evaluated with the buyer as to the
likelihood of causing future soundness issues. Some buyers
may wish to purchase a horse without any issues, while
others may be willing to purchase a horse that has minor
issues and may require periodic joint injections or other
DR. WINTER’S PREPURCHASE EVALUATION INCLUDES:
Physical Exam / Conformation Evaluation
A head to tail physical exam is performed to determine flaws
that could impact soundness or performance. Body
conditioning and hair coat is noted because it indicates a
lot about the horse’s general health.
A set of vitals including the temperature is taken.
Dr. Winter listens to the heart to detect a murmur or any
The pulse is taken prior to exercise, after exercise, and
He listens to gut sounds and notes any abnormalities.
He checks the body for lumps or bumps
He palpates the back, loin, and croup for signs of muscle
soreness which may indicate possible hock problems.
He examines the legs for heat, swelling, lumps, bumps or
He checks the hooves for signs of previous founder or
An ophthalmic exam is performed to check for problems that
could impair their vision such as cataracts or equine
He checks the mouth for abnormalities and notes the
condition of the teeth and bite.
He will recommend a float, if needed.
He checks the ears for signs of abnormal growths, infections
or tick/mite infestation
For stallions: he palpates both testicles and scrotal area
for any abnormalities. If the stallion will be used for
breeding purposes, he will recommend a fertility exam.
For geldings: he palpates the scrotal area and checks for
For mares: he checks the external genitalia. If purchased
for breeding purposes, he will do a rectal palpation or
ultrasound exam to check the ovaries and uterine tone.
If requested, a culture will be performed.
He checks the nose for any abnormal discharge, palpates
under the throat, esophagus and trachea. He listens to their
respirations for a regular rhythm and any abnormal sounds
such as (roaring) prior to and after exercise, the
respiratory rate will be recorded to determine if it is
within normal limits.
Dr. Winter examines the horse at a walk and trot on a
straight flat surface.
The horse is lunged or ridden at a walk, trot, and canter.
An indication of lameness may be shown by a head bob or
asymmetrical body movement (dropping of one side compared to
Pressure with a hoof tester will be applied at various
points on the sole of each hoof to test for pain or
sensitivity, such as hoof abscesses or navicular disease
A front leg flexion test is performed by flexing each front
leg separately for 60 seconds (pressure is exerted on all
joints equally from the knee down)
The assistant immediately trots the horse. A problem joint
that has been flexed may show significant pain when trotted.
A hind leg flexion test is performed by flexing each hind
leg separately for ninety seconds (pressure is exerted on
all joints equally from the hock down). The horse may trot a
bit stiff for a few steps after the flexion test. Healthy
joints should warm out of the stiffness within a few strides
and be symmetrical from side to side.
If a neurological problem is suspected, Dr. Winter will ask
the assistant to spin the horse in tight circles. Stepping
irregularly or on itself may indicate neurological problems.
If potential problems are indicated
Dr. Winter may recommend additional diagnostic services:
A complete set of radiographs (Hocks, front feet, and
stifles); provide valuable information to help base your
decision concerning the purchase of this horse. X-rays can
reveal problems that don’t show up on flexion tests or hoof
tester exams. They may reveal developmental bone diseases or
age related changes such as arthritis or osteochrondrosis.
An ultrasound exam may be recommended if tendon or ligament
issues are suspected.
Additional tests that can be performed:
Blood Chemistry Panel:
CBC or Complete blood Count:
Drug Screen: to ensure that the horse has no medication in
its blood stream that would significantly affect the horse’s
disposition or soundness at the time of the exam.