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

Bleeding from the Ears, Nose, or Mouth

It is because of this disease that hemorrhage from the nose should be taken very seriously, even though it is possible for a laceration, foreign body, tumor, or other cause to be responsible for the bleeding. Read More

Exercise Exhaustion

Exercise exhaustion can occur after relatively brief maximal exercise or after prolonged submaximal exercise. Read More

Emergency Transportation

You should be prepared to ship a horse if it is in need of emergency care at a veterinary hospital. If you have your own trailer, make sure that it is in working order at all times (the truck, too) and always have a back-up plan. Be prepared to make Read More

Ocular Emergencies

Observe the eye with the aid of a penlight or other light source. Evidence of pain is a clear symptom of most ocular diseases. However, sometimes it is not the first sign, so paying some attention to the eye and becoming familiar with what looks norm Read More

Complications from Vaccinations

Sometimes a horse has a reaction following a vaccination. The local and whole body reaction to a number of the equine immunization products is a well-known side effect of these necessary shots. Some horses demonstrate signs of systemic illness, such Read More

Wounds and Lacerations

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

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

Vital Signs

To establish a baseline set of measurements when the horse is healthy, do your "hands-off" observations first. Then after watching the horse, measure its heart and respiratory rates. Read More

Bleeding from the Rectum

Blood coming from the rectum can represent an extremely serious veterinary medical emergency. If a relatively healthy horse is observed to be bleeding from the rectum, the most likely cause is some type of trauma. I have seen this result from malicio Read More

Facts About Blood

Blood is an essential component of the mechanism whereby oxygen is transferred from the lungs to all of the body's organs and tissues. So just how much blood does a horse have anyway? Read More

The Essential First Aid Kit

The preparation of a horse first aid kit for your stable is easy to make and--in an emergency--can be of great importance. Once you have assembled such a kit, make sure everyone knows this golden rule: its contents are for emergency use only. Read More

The Right Stuff

David O'Connor and Leon Harrel come from two totally separate equine worlds and compete in disciplines that have very little in common. They also are far removed from each other geographically. O'Connor, winner of the individual Olympic gold Read More

Basic Concepts in Nutrition

The options and opinions on what to feed your horse are numerous. My goal in this article is to review the differences between the "simple-stomached" creatures (such as ourselves, dogs, cats, etc.) and the horse. In addition, we will take a look Read More

Dealing With Warts

A wart is an epidermal (skin) tumor caused by a variety of different viral infections. Read More

Shot Spots

All in all, vaccine reactions are very rare, and the process of vaccination against a disease process is one of the best ways you can safeguard your horse's health. Vaccination is one of the most impressive discoveries of modern medicine; the Read More

Analyze This! (Blood Tests Part 2)

Learn about the second-most common laboratory analysis performed--the serum chemistry panel. Read More

A Shot in the Dark

Author's note: This article is intended to improve your understanding of drugs commonly used in equine veterinary care; it is not a "treatment guide" for the lay person. No medication or combination thereof should be given without veterinary Read More

Thrush: Phew! Stinky Feet!

Thrush is very common, and it typically is a mild disease that can be easily treated. More importantly, it can be prevented with adequate hoof/foot management and good stable husbandry. Read More

Venereal Disease in Horses

Venereal diseases are those that can be sexually transmitted. "Vener" is the Latin term for sexual intercourse and, hence, the origin of the term "venereal." The outcome of sexually transmitted diseases in horses can vary Read More


Ovariectomy is a procedure that generally is performed to remove an abnormal ovary. Occasionally, an ovariectomy is performed in fillies or mares which have particularly bad behavior during their heat cycle in an effort to make them more Read More

Tendon Injuries in Horses

Tendon injuries can be extremely frustrating. The best way to deal with them is to make every effort to prevent them, or if possible, limit the degree of damage that occurs. Certainly some tendon injuries occur acutely without any warning, but Read More

Hoof Repair

When your farrier and/or your veterinarian discuss how to solve the hoof problems you are encountering with your horse--be it from injury or disease--you will be better able to understand your options, and get your horse back on his feet in the short Read More

Navicular Problems: Symptoms and Treatment

So many times, a horse gets labeled as suffering from "navicular," and people shy away from him as if he were Typhoid Mary, not knowing how to treat or even visualize the problem. In recent decades, however, much has been learned about the area Read More

Bandaging: Wrapping It Up

A general theme that applies to all bandaging--from the simplest of shipping wraps to the most elaborate full-leg medical bandages--is that bandages can be dangerous if not applied correctly. Read More

Choke (Esophageal Obstruction)

The word choke for me conjures up images of someone hovering over a table, unable to talk or breathe because a piece of food has lodged in their trachea or windpipe--fortunately, the Heimlich maneuver usually rectifies the situation. Choke is Read More