The Price Tag

Practical Horseman - - SCHOOLING NOTEBOOK -

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."

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