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, New York. He was an FEI veterinarian and worked internationally with the United States Equestrian Team. He died in 2014.

Articles by: Michael Ball, DVM

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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