Monday, August 31, 2015

She rides with the Angels now....our sweet Nikia.

Saturday, August 29th we had to lay our sweet Nikia to rest.   A vibrant Arabian mare, just 20 years old that should have lived for another 10 years.  A tooth disease and cancer shortened her life, but not how much love she has had while being part of the rescue.

Nikia came to us in 2011 and till we found the right adoptive home for her, both Lary and I had the joy and pleasure of riding her.  She was awesome on trail.  Through water, around vehicles, she even did parades in her younger days.

In 2012, she was adopted by our friend Linda, who also adopted Joey, one of the orphaned foals from a Fallon feedlot.  Nikia became best friends with Linda's horse Annie and together the whole family was able to enjoy horseback riding.  Family circumstances changed and Nikia came back to the ranch in October 2014 and fit right back in with some of her old friends, Gwen and Danny.  
The tooth disease, EOTRH (Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resportion and Hypercementosis) is not curable, but in some horses is manageable through the extraction of affected teeth and supplements that can sometimes slow the progression.    

The upper photo shows how the two outside incisors root area had gotten bulbous from the resorption and the lower photo shows a cavity and weakening in the tooth that compromised its strength.  Her upper incisors looked very similar.    Dr. Christianson and I discussed removing the affected four teeth which is very invasive. Her jaw was also weakened by this disease creating more risk with any extraction.

We knew she had some lumps and bump over the years, it is common with gray horses but we also discovered that she recently presented melanoma under her tail and on her anal area.  Having dealt with this with Fancy we know how quickly it can get bad and didn't want her all.

Knowing Linda was moving to live here at the ranch, we waited a few weeks so that Linda could be reunited with Nikia and we all could say goodbye together. These decisions are never easy.  On the outside of the horse you really couldn't see any indication of what was going on inside which makes it even more difficult for an otherwise healthy looking horse.
When the time came, Linda, Lary and I stood by her side and many tears were shed and the sadness of the loss continues today.   She was an awesome trail horse that anyone could ride.  She was brave, sure footed, got along great with other horses and ridden by kids, parents and grandparents too.  She touched many, many lives and was so very loved.  We feel a tremendous loss.

Run pain free Nikia........our sweet angel!