Prepurchase Examinations: Don’t Forget the Eyes

Before you sign the papers for your new horse, have your veterinarian look the horse in the eye.
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Prepurchase Examinations
Chronic ocular disease can result in temporary or permanent loss of use and frustration for the owner. | Photo: iStock

Clean legs? Check. Healthy heart? Check. Strong back? Check. But before you sign the papers for your new horse, don’t forget to have your veterinarian look the horse in the eye.

“An important yet commonly overlooked portion of the prepurchase is the ocular examination,” explained Nicole Scherrer, DVM, an ophthalmology resident at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square.

At the 2013 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Convention, held Dec. 7-11 in Nashville, Tenn., Scherrer reviewed how to perform the ocular portion of a prepurchase examination

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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