Michael Ball, DVM

Michael A. Ball, DVM, completed an internship in medicine and surgery and an internship in anesthesia at the University of Georgia in 1994, a residency in internal medicine, and graduate work in pharmacology at Cornell University in 1997, and was on staff at Cornell before starting Early Winter Equine Medicine & Surgery located in Ithaca, N.Y. He is also an FEI veterinarian and works internationally with the United States Equestrian Team.

Ball authored Understanding The Equine Eye, Understanding Basic Horse Care, and Understanding Equine First Aid, published by Eclipse Press and available at www.exclusivelyequine.com or by calling 800/582-5604.

Articles by Michael Ball

Minimizing Wound Complications

Wound care is one of those many horse issues where there are as many opinions as there are horse owners. Read More

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

If we want to better manage our horses' winter coats, we need to understand what they are and how they grow. Read More

Equine First Aid: Knowing Normal from Abnormal (Book Excerpt)

For horse owners and others who care for horses, recognizing the differences between what is normal and what is abnormal about them forms the basic foundation for good animal husbandry and veterinary medicine. Using your powers of observation c Read More

Equine First Aid: Being Prepared for Emergencies

The best way to prepare for emergencies is to try to prevent them. Perhaps the best approach to first aid is to minimize the risk of accidents, injuries, and disease. Sometimes we do foolish things with, and to, our horses. Read More

Book Excerpt: Emergency Transportation

You should be prepared to ship a horse if it is in need of emergency care at a veterinary hospital. Read More

Locomotion (Book Excerpt)

Locomotion is at the very heart of what most domesticated horses do for a living. The way a horse moves (specifically) often is taken for granted. Locomotion is directly linked to conformation as it dictates "the way a horse moves." Read More

Vital Signs (Book Excerpt)

The physical examination should assess any changes in the horse's demeanor, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, body temperature, evidence of shock, and hydration status. Read More

Restraining a Horse (Book Excerpt)

The horse might appear to be well restrained while nothing is being done, then react with great speed when the procedure is attempted. If a restraint device is only partially applied, there is a much greater chance of the device coming off Read More

Shipping a Horse with Colic (Book Excerpt)

In my experience, shipping a horse with a severe case of colic can be a dangerous and harrowing experience. If at all possible the horse should be seen by a veterinarian and stabilized prior to transport. Read More

Emergency Transportation for Horses

You should be prepared to ship a horse if it is in need of emergency care at a veterinary hospital. Read More

Wounds and Lacerations (Book Excerpt)

One of the most important facts regarding severe wounds is that the sooner they are noticed and repaired the better the patient's prognosis, both functionally and cosmetically. Another aspect of wounds is that they bleed, some significantly more than Read More

Severe Dehydration (Book Excerpt)

Dehydration can be a significant problem for the performance horse as well as for horses suffering from other disease processes. If you suspect dehydration, you can check easily your horse's hydration status if you have used one or more of the follow Read More

Stable Vices (Book Excerpt)

A stable vice is an undesirable behavior shown by horses that are stall bound but also in pastures or small paddocks. The most common stable vice is probably "wind sucking," commonly known as "cribbing," followed by wood chewing, stall weaving Read More

Exercise Exhaustion (Book Excerpt)

Many exercise-induced problems could be avoided by applying common sense limits to performance stresses. If you plan to compete at eventing and endurance riding, make sure both you and your horse are appropriately prepared. Read More

Basic Horse Handling (Book Excerpt)

Always think in terms of safety first when handling horses -- safety for you, the horse, and anyone else in the general area. Like it or not, horses are fight or flight creatures and can be unpredictable when faced with new people or surroundings. Read More

Out of Control

One night you hear kicking and crashing coming from the barn and think you have a cast horse. You run to see if you can help, and what you find is a horse down on his side paddling as if galloping on the ground. His head and neck are extended an Read More

Premature Foals (Book Excerpt)

Foals can be born prematurely for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons for a premature delivery are infection of the placenta (placentitis) or long-standing placental insufficiency. Read More

The Equine Eye: Ocular Emergencies (Book Excerpt)

Well before an ocular emergency occurs, you should familiarize yourself with the easily visible outer structures of a horse's eye. Observe the eye with the aid of a penlight or other light source. Evidence of pain is a clear symptom of most ocular Read More

Locomotion: The Way a Horse Moves (Book Excerpt)

Locomotion is at the very heart of what most domesticated horses do for a living. The way a horse moves (specifically) often is taken for granted. Locomotion is directly linked to conformation as it dictates "the way a horse moves." Read More

First Aid for Horses: Knowing Normal from Abnormal

For horse owners and others who care for horses, recognizing the differences between what is normal and what is abnormal about them forms the basic foundation for good animal husbandry and veterinary medicine. Using your powers of observation can be Read More

The Respiratory System (Book Excerpt)

The respiratory system's main goal is to transfer oxygen from the air we breathe to the red blood cells where the oxygen will be transported throughout the body and be available for all organs and tissues. In addition, carbon dioxide, a waste produc Read More

Being Prepared for Emergencies (Book Excerpt)

The best way to prepare for emergencies is to try to prevent them. Perhaps the best approach to first aid is to minimize the risk of accidents, injuries, and disease. Sometimes we do foolish things with, and to, our horses. Read More

Dealing with a Trailer Accident

Having an accident with a van or trailer carrying a horse is a nightmare. Always do everything in your power to prevent a vehicle accident with horses on board (or anytime for that matter). If you are uncomfortable with the trailer rig or the Read More

Foaling a Premature Foal

Normal gestation in a mare lasts anywhere from 320 to 360 days. The average is about 341 days. A foal born at less than 320 days will display immature characteristics such as silky hair coat, overly pliable ears, weak or lax flexor tendons, and Read More

Bleeding of the Uterine Artery

There are two large arteries that supply the uterus with blood. One crisis that can occur is severe hemorrhage of one of these arteries into the surrounding tissue or abdominal cavity. This problem, "rupture of the uterine artery," is well-documented Read More