How A Pet’s Illness Can Be A Mental Health Risk

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Most pets are affectionate creatures. When you’re taking care of an animal, even the toughest of days won’t be able to get you down. They’ll just boost your spirits with their energy and playful mischief. There are many advantages from caring for animals.

We all know that caring for pets can be mentally advantageous on many levels. But what about when you’re caring for a fatally ill pet? How does that affect your mental health? Sometimes caring for an ill animal can be therapeutic in the sense that it gives you a purpose. But it also puts you at risk for mental health issues. Something you’ve loved for years is being taken away from you due to untimely illness and this can take a toll on your mental health, as well as open mental doors to depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD (after death).

Here are few steps that you can use to prepare yourself for the death of your pet.

  1. Spend Time With Your Pet 

    Set aside a good amount of your time to spend with your pet. Take advantage of the remaining days and let your pet know how much they mean to you. Spending time with them is more a coping mechanism for you than for him.

  2. Make Arrangements 

    Making the appropriate arrangements beforehand saves you from having to make these hard decisions while grieving. Contact your vet for information on cremation, burial or veterinary disposal. Take your time and ask for help and support from your loved ones.

  3. Prepare Yourself Emotionally 

    To be honest, you’ll never be able to accept the death of a pet. But preparing yourself can help you in your grieving process. Understanding the stages of grief can be a step to recovery.

  4. If You Have Kids, Talk To Them 

    Your pet’s death will most definitely also have an impact on your children. So it’s important that you talk to them about death beforehand, to better prepare them emotionally. Gently explain to them that your pet is becoming ill or getting older. Be prepared to answer questions and give them as many details as you can, depending on their age and level of understanding. Make sure they know that after he passes, he won’t be able to feel pain, this could comfort them.

  5. Take Photos To Keep His Memory Alive 

    Days after his passing, you will be able to look at the pictures you took and know that it was his time and find comfort in the fact that his suffering has ceased.

  6. Seek Medical Help 

    Even after all the preparations and precautions, it is possible that you may spiral into a depression. It is a natural aspect of grief. Find ways to distract yourself and seek professional help when needed. A therapist can provide a safe space for you to properly process your grief. If you have a previous history of mental issues, it is important to stay in touch with your doctor to prevent your issues from resurfacing during this challenging time.

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How To Keep Your Cat Happy While You’re Away

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A bored cat is an unhappy cat. Like all living things, cats have separation issues. They develop strong attachments to their humans and will probably feel nervous and on the edge when they’re home alone. If you’re the only one interacting with your kitty, then she/he will have intense separation issues. The key is to occupy his/her mind by creating a fun environment. There are many ways of doing this.

Cardboard Boxes

Whenever you bring home something in a cardboard box, save the box for your kitty to play with. All cats love boxes. Cats can turn a simple cardboard box into a scratching post, a sled, a play fort, and a napping spot, giving them, hours of fun. To add an extra kick, cut cat-sized holes in the sides of one or two boxes to entertain them even further. Make sure that you make the holes large enough for your kitty to fit through easily.

Get A Buddy

If your cat is the sole pet in your family, then it’s only natural for him/her to feel lonely when you’re gone. Consider adopting another cat to lessen the kitty’s boredom. Although this brings a lot of tension at first, it will be worth the effort in the end. When there are two cats instead of one, playtime will get more adventurous and new games will be invented. Just like how we feel better when we have a friend around, it’s the same with cats.

Puzzles And Snacks

Cats love puzzles. Puzzles stimulate your cat’s brain and can give them something to work on for hours. An occupied cat is a happy cat. There are treat puzzles that have a hidden surprise in them, that can only be unlocked when your cat figures out the right way to undo the latch. These treat puzzles can be found easily in pet supply shops everywhere.

Cat Television

Make sure you have windows looking out into the streets where your cat can watch life go by. Cats love watching daily events from a safe distance. If your windows are blocked by furniture or they don’t look out into a calming scene, consider buying cat DVDs. Find one your cat likes and leave it on when you go to work.

Soothing Sounds

Music has the ability to soothe a raging soul. Find the types of music that your cat responds to the most and play it quietly on your home stereo while you’re away. Music will keep your kitty calm. When in doubt, pick classical. You can never go wrong with calming piano and string music. Don’t deviate to louder classical music which makes use of drums and trumpets (unless that’s what your cat is into).

Keeping your cat happy has a lot to do with preventing boredom. By keeping them occupied, and providing them with a calm environment, you’re already halfway there. They will do the rest.

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Everything You Need To Know About Grooming Your Dog

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As someone who owns a dog, especially the hairy kind, you’re obviously concerned about grooming him/her. Well, there’s not much to be worried about, as long as you follow the suggestions listed below.

The Right Age

Your dog, or pup, in this case, must be 8 weeks old, at the very least, for you to consider grooming him/her. There are far more important things than grooming when you’re dealing with a puppy that young. The first is to have him/her get used to the new environment at home and also get used to the people around.

Now, 8 weeks is the minimum age most groomers would recommend. However, we would say 12 weeks is the ideal. There are a few standard things you can expect when taking your little one for his/her grooming appointment.

The grooming starts off with a bath, which is then followed by blow drying, nail clipping, and hair trimming. Full haircuts are reserved for adult dogs. Also, the pup’s reaction to the trimming will determine if he/she can move onto haircuts. If the pup is agitated, you will be asked to repeat the trimming process a few times till the pup us read to deal with an actual haircut.

Cutting Hair According To Season

Another thing that pet owners tend to be confused about is cutting hair according to the season. This is especially true for those who have hairy breeds.

For hairy breeds, in the summer, vets suggest keeping things cool by providing shade and plenty of water. However, hairy breeds did not evolve in hot climates and therefore, a little trimming isn’t bad idea. It actually depends on your dog. If he/she is visibly frustrated during the summer, maybe it’s time for a cut.

As for winter, there’s no need to bother cutting the hair unless it’s matted or grown beyond control.

Brush His/Her Teeth

One key step of grooming that most owners forget is brushing the dog’s teeth. Brushing your dog’s teeth is necessary because dogs have dental issues too and it’s your job to prevent them. For instance, gum disease affects quite a few dogs and it happens due to the accumulation of tartar. Only brushing can prevent this accumulation.

There are specific tools, such as canine toothpaste and toothbrushes, to make the job easier. In fact, you get toothpaste in flavors like peanut butter, chicken, and liver etc. Human toothpaste isn’t advised as it can cause digestive problems for your dog.

However, if you’ve never brushed your dog’s teeth, start small. Sue your fingers at first and then gradually transition to using the toothbrush.

Use praise and appreciation to train your dog into liking this practice.

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Vegetables And Fruits That Are A Must For Your Dog

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The idea of feeding your dog with vegetables and fruits might sound a bit strange. In fact, some pet owners find it downright controversial. Even some veterinarians are of the same opinion. However, studies have always proved the opposite to be true. Vegetables and fruits are good for your dog.

Now, we aren’t saying you need to turn your dog into a vegetarian. All we’re saying is that you need to include vegetables and fruits to create a more well-rounded diet. There are several benefits to this. For instance, vegetables help with balancing the acidity and alkalinity of a diet. This is important because a protein-rich diet, for example, can be too acidic, which is bad. Adding a few veggies can reduce this.

There are other benefits too.

So, we decided to list down some of the fruits and vegetables that your dog should be eating.

Green Peas

Green peas are rich in nutrients such as Vitamin B, Potassium, and Phosphorous. Each of these nutrients offers its own set of benefits to your dog’s health.
As for feeding your dog green peas, there isn’t much to worry about. Most dogs tend to have a natural liking for green peas. However, if things too difficult, you can always mix the green peas with some meat or other treats.

Muskmelon

Muskmelons are loaded with vitamins A, B, C and E. So, that’s beneficial for things like eyesight, cell damage, and even cancer prevention. Other than these vitamins, muskmelons are rich in potassium too.
If you live in a hot place, muskmelons can be pretty easy to feed as a snack.

Spinach

Spinach is rich in Iron and Iron can help with cancer prevention and the prevention of cardiovascular or inflammatory conditions.
Now, convincing your dog to eat spinach is going to be a task. After all, it’s a veggie that even humans find hard to consume. So, your best bet would be to include it as an ingredient in a hot bowl of chicken broth.

Blueberries

Blueberries are rich in a nutrient called resveratrol, which is known to function as an anti-cancer agent. Other than that, blueberries are also good for keeping heart diseases at bay. So, it’s a fantastic fruit to include in your dog’s diet.
Additionally, the tannins present in blueberries can keep UTI or Urinary Tract Infections away.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins, A, B-6, C, and E. Additionally, they also contain copper, thiamine, potassium, folate, iron, and calcium. Plus, the fact that they’re sweet makes them a tempting option. Your pet shouldn’t give you too much trouble.

Apple

An apple a day keeps the vet away. They are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, which are both necessary nutrients. Plus, dogs are known to have fun eating apples as they are quite fun to handle with one’s paws.

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Gadgets That Offer Remote PetCare

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Taking care of your pets and giving them attention at home is one thing. But, what happens when you’re not around? This is a dilemma that affects thousands of pet owners almost on a daily basis. As pet owners, we want our pets to get as much necessary attention as possible, but, we also have our lives to live.

We have jobs to go to and social appointments to keep up with. Some might be okay with taking their pets wherever they go while others get nannies or friends/family to keep an eye on them. But, for those who don’t have these options, life can get difficult.

Thankfully, there’s always technology to save the day. So, if you’re one of those pet owners who is forced to leave your furry buddy all alone and without attention, here are a few gadgets that might come in handy.

FitBark

FitBark is a Kickstarter-funded device that uses a Bluetooth-enabled bone to keep a track of all your dog’s activities. The bone attaches to your dog’s collar, which ensures that it’s always tracking. The tracked data is then communicated to your smart-phone via the FitBark app.

However, you can access the information only when you get home. But, there is an option to transfer the information even if you’re at work or any other distant location. A base station with Wi-Fi connectivity for the device can be purchased. This unit connects via Wi-Fi, which allows you to access the data from anywhere.

Petcube

Petcube is a cube-like device that comes with a camera fitted inside. The idea is to help you keep an eye on your pet as often as possible, no matter where you are. The device transmits the video to your phone or tablet.

The best part is it even lets you communicate with your pet through audio-visual capabilities. So, if you need to give out commands or reassure your pet, Petcube can help you out.
You even have a laser pointer that allows you to play with your pet. Finally, you can even have friends and family connect to the Petcube to keep a watch.

CleverPet

CleverPet is a games console meant for pets. The idea is to keep your pets engaged in stimulating mental tasks till you get back from wherever you are. Basically, it prevents your pet from noticing that you’re missing.

The device has sensitive touch-pads that light up when your dog/cat touches them. When your pet hits the pads, the device drops out treats.

CleverPet also uses learning algorithms to make the game easier or harder according to how your pet responds. The objective of the device is to keep your pet mentally and physically engaged.

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The Best Methods To Get Rid Of Ticks

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Ticks are literal parasites that suck blood from your pets. They carry diseasesthatare unhygienic, and most importantly, make our pets uncomfortable. Their bites are known to cause skin irritations and sometimes even allergic reactions which leads to excessive scratching.Ticks are literal parasites that suck blood from your pets. They carry diseasesthatare unhygienic, and most importantly, make our pets uncomfortable. Their bites are known to cause skin irritations and sometimes even allergic reactions which leads to excessive scratching.
Signs And Symptoms:

  1. Itching
  2. Rashes
  3. Swelling
  4. Weakness
  5. Vomiting
  6. Shortness of Breath
  7. Burning

If you’re not a big fan of chemicals, then here are a few natural tick control measures and home remedies that you could try:
Preventive Measures

  1. Keep your lawn trimmed and get rid of wood piles so as to avoid a tick infestation.
  2. Stay away from pest infected areas like wooded areas, weedy parks, and prairies when going for a walk.
  3. Use Herbal Pet Collars or products with no toxins to protect cats and dogs.
  4. Make use of food-grade Diatomaceous Earth. It provides long lasting protection, scoring any insect’s outer layer when it comes in contact with the fine powder. It’s non-toxic so it’s safe to be used around your pets.
  5. Use Plant-based formulas that are designed to keep ticks away, by spraying them on your pet’s bedding and kennels. It’s is non-toxic as it’s made from plants. It is child and animal-friendly.
  6. Inspect your pet’s fur when brushing or washing them. If a tick is found, remove it carefully and disinfect the area.

Home Remedies

  1. Organic Neem Oil
    Organic Neem oil is known to disrupt the growth of pests. Its anti-bacterial and anti-septic nature are especially advantageous when it comes to fighting ticks. Dilute the neem oil with lighter carrier oils like almond or jojoba oil and rub it on the affected area of your pet. It’s non-toxic to useful insects like honey bees. It only harms the aggressors.Note:  Neem oil isn’t suitable for cats.
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar/ ACVBest when diluted. You could make a spray using ACV by diluting it with lavender or neem oil and water. Apply this solution on dogs, curtains, walls, or carpets to kill ticks.
  3. Aromatherapy OilOils like lemon, basil, cedar, cinnamon, lavender, and pennyroyal are natural repellents for ticks.
  4. CitrusFound in Oranges and lemons. To be effective, prepare an oil using peels. Boil it and cool it down naturally. When ready, apply to the affected areas carefully.
  5. VaselineJust cover the infected area with Vaseline by rubbing it on the affected area gently. Vaseline suffocates ticks and they soon die. Run a comb through your pet’s hair afterward and this will remove any nasty ticks.Ticks are a serious problem in our pets. They irritate the skin and are carriers of serious diseases. Follow these natural remedies and prevention methods to alleviate the discomfort caused by ticks.

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Best Ways To Get Rid Of Pet Hair

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We all love our pets fluffy. Their hugs are most comforting. The daily fur stroking is a stress relief to us as well as the pets. They bring the most beautiful forms of warmth and joy to life. We all love our pets fluffy. Their hugs are most comforting. The daily fur stroking is a stress relief to us as well as the pets. They bring the most beautiful forms of warmth and joy to life.

But what furry pets, also bring along is, difficulty to remove hair from carpet, clothes, cars and almost every household article they walk their paws into. A pet owner knows the pain of finding animal fur all around the house.

Excessive shedding disturbs the hygiene of the house and is also an indicator of poor health of your pet. However adding a few simple things to your pet-caring activities can help keep your house completely free from pet hair.

Here Is A Little List Of ‘To Dos’, That Work: 

With Pets 

  • Always get their fur regularly trimmed. This not only reduces the shedding but also prevents the possibility of parasite attacks on your loving pet.
  • Work towards preventing or treating pre-existing skin diseases that cause shedding of animal fur. If your pet is shedding an abnormal amount of fur, an immediate visit to the veterinarian  is advised.
  • Take care of your pet’s daily hygiene needs. Regular brushing and bathing reduces shedding.
  • Look out for pet food brands your pet might be allergic to, causing increased shedding.

With Clothes 

  • Get a lint roller to remove fur from your cloth articles.  If you don’t have one, using a shaving razor works too.
  • Use white vinegar to wash your clothes as it loosens the hair making it easier to wash out.
    With Carpets
  • Robot vacuums clean the fur from your carpets and floor even before you know it.
  • Using baking soda while washing carpets, not only loosens and removes the fur but also deodorizes the carpet.
    With Furniture
  • Small hand vacuums are your best shot at removing fur from your furniture.
  • Washing with a damp rubber glove or sponge removes fur too.
  • In case of wooden furniture, running a micro fibrous cloth or mop will help you to get rid of fur from all the difficult corners
  •  Applying sealant solution to hardwood flooring makes cleaning easier in future and is a more permanent solution
    With Car Interiors
  • Apart from the lint roller or hand vacuum for regular cleaning, running a pumice stone carefully to the vulnerable parts of your car interiors is a more permanent solution and makes cleaning easier.
    Taking simple short term and long term steps can easily help you get rid of pet hair. Let’s not allow any kind of shedding come in our way to play with our adorable pets in every corner of the house.

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Preventing Feline Obesity

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A healthy diet is a very important factor to ensure overall well-being. The same is true, even for pets. In order to prevent cats from gaining excess weight, we must watch the amount of food they eat. It is advisable to feed cats according to their level of activity and age.

Younger cats must be fed more calories per pound of body weight, compared to older cats who have a slower metabolism.

Exercise Your Cat

Exercising your pet has various benefits. It helps them burn calories, strengthens the respiratory and circulatory system, keeps their muscles and joints toned and flexible, relieves boredom and aids in digestion.

You could play with your cat using interactive toys that encourage activity.

Choosing The Correct Type And Amount Of Food

It is important to give cats different types and amounts of food during their various life stages. While younger pets will require more energy, protein and minerals, older cats will need less. Felines that are nursing or pregnant will need increased amounts of protein, minerals and energy.

Cats that are prone to lounging on the couch have much lower energy needs. Even though older cats may remain active, they may need fewer calories compared to when they were younger.

Eating Habits

While some cats will instinctively regulate their food intake rather well, other may eat anything in sight. Generally, it is better to give pets food in the form of meals rather than keeping a food bowl filled and available to them all the time.

By giving pets their food as meals, it becomes easier to monitor their intake. It will also prevent the food from going stale. If you have more this one pet story home, following this process of feeding will allow you to ensure that your pet is eating the appropriate amount of food.

Monitor Your Cat’s Weight

Just as it is all too easy for us to gain a few pounds without realising it until much later, the same applies to your pets. In fact, it sometimes becomes difficult to notice excess weight in pets, unless you are carefully watching for signs.

It is a good habit to weigh your pet regularly to look for any signs of excessive weight gain, before it becomes a serious problem. Be careful, as excess weight could also spell health problems for your cat.

Look Out For The Signs

It is often noticed that cats who tend to be overweight while growing up have a higher risk of being overweight as adults. As a responsible pet parent, is important that you make sure that growing animals in your care have sufficient nutrition as well as an active lifestyle. Cats who are overweight while growing up can develop other health issues as they age, such as joint disease.

Stop Feeding Them Treats Or Table Scraps

What do you do when your pet looks at you beseechingly while you’re eating that juicy piece of chicken? Be strong and don’t get carried away by emotions. It’s not a good idea to make a habit of feeding your cat scraps and leftovers from the dining table. It’s also not too healthy to keep them dependent on cat treats, as these foods have decreased nutritional value.

Treat Any Existing Diseases

While feline obesity is most often caused by overfeeding them, there could also be medical reasons for the animal’s excessive weight gain. You must be careful to keep a watch for these cases. Get your pet seen to by a veterinary doctor and check if your cat has any illnesses or medical conditions that are contributing to its excessive weight.

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Understanding What Felines Dream About

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We all know how much cats love to sleep. Felines sleep for approximately 16 to 18 hours a day. It is common to observe sleeping cats twitching their paws or tails. Similar to humans, cats experience different cycles of sleep, from slow wave sleep to R.E.M. sleep.

What Is Rapid Eye Movement?

The stage of sleep wherein most dream activity happens is called the Rapid Eye Movement (R.E.M.) stage. However, some dreaming happens in the non-R.E.M. stage as well. Dreams in the non-R.E.M. stage comprise mostly of brief snapshots of the day’s activities. While humans enter R.E.M. sleep approximately every 90 minutes, cats enter this sleep stage every 25 minutes.

According to brain and cognitive sciences professors, at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, cat’s dreams are not very different from those of humans.

What Do Cats Dream About?

Like us, cats dream about their daily lives, activities such as playing, preying and stalking among other things.

A Cat’s Senses

According to animal behavior consultants and cat experts, a feline’s sense of hearing and smell can remain active during 70% of sleep time, to allow them to react quickly to real or imagined threatsin their territory.
Most other times, cats are likely to wake up with predictable movements such as blinking, stretching, yawning and flexing the front legs, back and the rear legs.

A Look Into A Cat’s Brains

The hippocampus is the region of the brain that deals with memory. In a cat’s brain, the hippocampus consists of all the same components that are present in a human brain. The pattern of electrical activity in cats’ brains is rather similar to the patterns in a human’s brain.

How To Identify A Dreaming Cat When we see a cat twitching its paws, whiskers or tail, we believe the cat is dreaming. But this is incorrect. The most important indication that a cat is in a dream state, is a completely relaxed condition. When a cat is in R.E.M. sleep, the body turns off the large muscles that prevent them from acting out dreams in a state of sleep. Sleepwalking Cats

Cats are even known to sleepwalk, although sleepwalking is found to happen only in brain-damaged cats. Brain-damaged cats have lesions around the locus coeruleus in the brainstem. When awake, these cats act normal, but as soon as the R.E.M. sleep stage begins, they start to act out their dreams.

Dream Patterns In Older Cats

As the cats mature and age, the ability of the brain to turn off large muscles becomes less effective. As a result, cats experience more physical movements during sleep. So if you ever find your cat suddenly jolted out of slumber, don’t be alarmed. It is quite normal because their movements while asleep can be sudden.

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Understanding Canine Body Language

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Wouldn’t it be just fabulous if you and your doggo could have endless ‘tete a tete’ about why he is so happy to see you at the end of the day, and how he just simply loathes the very sight of your new neighbor! However, since your conversations with your furry little friend are limited to non verbal interaction, it would be helpful to understand their body language and know exactly what they are trying to convey by means of a wagging tail or excessive drooling. Here are a few typical non verbal signals from your canine friend and what they actually imply in the ‘dog world’.

Relaxed

A slightly open mouth, a relaxed or drawn down tail, a loose stance, and head parallel to the floor are a few of the common signals that imply that your dog is feeling safe in his surroundings and is in a reasonably content and relaxed state. A dog will typically adopt this stance when at home around his master, with only familiar faces around him.

Alert

When a dog notices something unusual that instantly catches his attention, he might display a few typical signs of vigilance including wide open eyes, tightly shut mouth, twitching ears, tail held horizontal to the body and leaning forward on his toes. An alert state implies that your dog has found something of interest and is trying to assess the situation and determine whether any action must be taken or not.

Frightened

There are numerous body language signals of a canine that project submission to an impending danger and might imply that your four legged friend is feeling threatened by and fearful of the situation. A sudden freezing of the body implies that your dog has detected some danger in his surroundings and waiting to decide between the fight and flight mechanism. In addition to this, when feeling threatened, your dog might display nervous signs such as sweaty paws, ears pulled back, tail pulled between the hind legs, lowered body, brief and indirect eye contact and so on.

Playful

When trying to invite their masters to come out and engage in playful activities, dogs typically exhibit signs of excitement and elevated adrenalin. A few of the signals which imply that your dog fancies a game of fetch or is in a mood for a run in the park include tail stretched out in a vertical standing position and wagging rigorously, dilated pupils, ears pulled erect, tongue slightly exposed from an open mouth, front body lowered by means of bent forepaws and so on.
Understanding your canine’s body language will go a long way in not only developing a stronger connection with him, but also in ensuring that you can take suitable corrective actions and help him relax, if he feels excessively stressed or fearful of a particular situation.

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