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

Problems with Cataracts?

I am thinking of buying a mare that has cataracts in both eyes. What problems should I watch for? Read More

Common Problems and Their Signs: Part Two

In the April issue, the cover story began our study of common problems that can affect your horse. Those included the oral cavity, eyes, GI system, and respiratory system. The abilit Read More

Off-Label Drug Use for Horses

Off-label drug use, which technically was illegal until recently, might be one of the most beneficial things we as vets Read More

Common Problems and Their Signs

The ability to recognize abnormalities depends greatly on a person's knowledge of what is normal. The greater someone's knowledge of normal anatomy, physiology, behavior, and environment of a given animal, the more likely that person is to Read More

Total Parenteral Nutrition

Total parenteral nutrition is used when feeding via the GI tract is ill-advised or impossible. Read More

Problems With Hooves

It takes nearly a year for the hoof to grow down from the coronary band to the ground. Therefore, anything that happens to the horse -- whether specific trauma to the foot or a systemic problem -- can affect the health of the hoof for a long time. Read More


Please take a deep breath. Excuse me, I said could you take a deep breath please? No, stop nuzzling at my backside. Could you please just take a deep breath?

This might be a typical one-sided conversation a veterinarian would want Read More

Wound Care

Wound care is one of those many horse issues where there are as many opinions regarding treatment as there are horse owners and veterinarians. There are hundreds of agents (both commercial and home-brew) available to paint, spray, smear, gob, an Read More


My horse had a soft tissue injury and my vet gave him steroids. Are there any negative side effects of steroid use? Read More


Within every living cell (muscle, tendon, lung, bone, etc.), there is a biochemical and cellular time bomb waiting to go off—inflammation. However, it is to be noted that inflammation is a double-edged sword. More animals (and probably people) Read More

Foal IgG (Antibody)

The foal is born with a functional immune system (if all is normal), but has a general absence of immunoglobulins to aid in the defense against infection. The foal acquires his initial immunoglobulin protection from the mare's first milk, which Read More

The Down Horse

The "down horse" refers to a horse which has become recumbent and cannot rise. The term is a clinical sign and is a non-specific development of a number of disease conditions; the causes can be many. Read More

Communicating With Your Vet

The ability to communicate well is probably one of the most important skills for success you can develop no matter what you do for a living. It seems, at least in my life, that when something goes wrong (or not as well as I had planned), it Read More

Heart Murmurs in Horses

Is a heart murmur in horses the same as a heart murmur in people? What signs will a horse with a heart murmur exhibit? Read More

Euthanasia for Horses

After three days of colic, the horse's pain finally is subdued by various drugs and the anesthetic gas. The ventilator now is breathing for the horse, which has been placed on his back and a large incision made in his abdomen to allow for Read More

Allergic Reactions in Horses

Allergic reactions are complicated and somewhat unpredictable events that are triggered by various environment Read More

Restraint Techniques

The first premise regarding restraint techniques for horses is the art of knowing when and when not to use them. The individual personalities of horses sometimes can make the decision to use restraint (and the particular type) more Read More

Equine Respiratory Disease Part 2: The Lower Airway

The lower airway consists of the lungs and the air tubing (bronchi) that supplies them. The lungs have some very interesting and unique protective mechanisms that put forth a great effort to prevent infection. Obviously, the air Read More

Common Respiratory Problems

The main goal of the respiratory system 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 Read More

Periodic Ophthalmia (Moon Blindness)

Periodic ophthalmia, otherwise known as recurrent uveitis, uveitis, or moon blindness, can be a devastating disease of the equine eye. It also, unfortunately, is a disease that we really don't know much about. The hypothetical Read More

Administering Medications

Author's Note: The purpose of this article is to act as a reference to aid the veterinarian in educating clients in the techniques of medication administration. This article is not intended to act as an encouragement to owner-prescribed Read More

Umbilical Hernia

I have been told that my horse has an umbilical hernia. What is an umbilical hernia and what can be done to correct it? Read More

Transporting Horses

Moving horses from place to place is recorded to occur as far back in history as 3,500 years. At that time, horses were transported by sea and either were confined in boxes to the bowels of the boat or placed in slings on the deck of the boat. Read More

Bone Cysts

The first thing to address in this story is that most "bone cysts" are not typically "cysts," by strict definition. The medical dictionary definition of a "cyst" is, "a structure lined with epithelium (a special cell type) and Read More

Equine Tetanus: Signs and Treatment

It's a beautiful sunny day and being that nothing exciting is happening in the pasture today, you decide to lie down and roll a bit. In the midst of an extremely satisfying roll, there is a sudden sharp pain in your rump area Read More