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Failure to Diagnose During Your Horse’s Pre-Purchase Exam

A pre-purchase exam is the first step most people face when jumping into the world of horse ownership and they hope it to be the last exam that they will ever have to face with their horse, aside from seasonal veterinary vaccines and yearly Coggins. A pre-purchase exam is meant to detect lameness and any other physical health problems that may linger unbeknown to the owner, and in few cases, are deceitfully hidden by the seller. While many people will say that their horse either passed or failed a pre-purchase exam, this is not the case. A pre-purchase exam is meant to identify the horse’s current health conditions and at the end of the exam, the potential buyer must determine whether or not they can live with the problems found and may compromise the value of the horse. If the buyer decides he or she can live with the problems, they buy the horse. The equine veterinarian will often provide a letter describing the results of his exam after it is completed.

So your trusted veterinarian missed a major issue during your horses’ pre-purchase exam… now what? Unfortunately this is not extremely uncommon in the equine world and many people must face the consequences of not only buying a horse that cannot perform their duty, but also end up over-paying for a horse that is not nearly worth its true value due to a health problem that existed before the horse was purchased.

The silver lining to this misfortune is that there are attorneys who specialize in equine law and experts in the field. Catanese & Wells is an equine law firm that has specialized in the industry since 1984. We represent every discipline and breed of horse in equine law and are committed to helping you acquire the tools to obtain justice if your veterinarian overlooked a major pre-existing issue regarding your horse’s health during the pre-purchase examination.