The Price Tag
The price of a basic pre-purchase exam will vary from one veterinary practice to another, but in general you can expect to pay from $250 to $500. It’s a good idea to ask the veterinarian the base cost up front.
While this might seem pricey for a “simple” evaluation, Dr. Crabbe notes that the exam itself typically takes at least two hours. The veterinarian may spend additional hours reviewing the horse’s medical history, assessing radiographs and potentially talking to other parties, such as the horse’s veterinarian or farrier.
Of course, the price can go up from there depending on additional tests that you request. For instance, Dr. Crabbe notes these average prices (which again will vary by practice and location):
• Four X-ray images of a single joint: $200 • Drug screening: $300—$500 • Gastroscopy: $300—$400 • Upper-airway endoscopy: $200—$300
It's not uncommon, says Dr. Crabbe, for a pre-purchase exam to climb up to $3,000 to $4,000 when a buyer wants to minimize risk as much as possible on a pricey purchase. "Is it worth it?" she asks. "I paid over $3,000 for the last pre-purchase I had done for myself, so I would say I think it is and can put my money where my mouth is."