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yellowgirl

Raw/natural Chitchat

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Well, we've done it! Sarge and Madeline are on a raw diet... and processed kibble is completely off the menu now :)

I can't believe how much I've learned in the past couple of months, and considering I ran my own pet food shop for almost 10 years (and thought that not feeding preservatives, additives and chemicals was I knew all I needed to know), I'm so glad that I opened myself up to looking into things further :(

I managed to slowly get the dogs onto all raw (no more cooked meat) and they have bones every two to three days.

Here is their current diet... input appreciated :rofl:

I mix up a large batch and freeze it in small packs.

edit ... Colour to show edited/added/changed parts of the recipe as we go along. :rofl::rofl:

* denotes changes to original amounts or ingredients

2kg mince (lamb, turkey, beef or pork - combo of two) (can also add heart as another nutrient rich muscle meat)

1 kg veggies (minced) (might still reduce the amount - more research -post #8)

3 eggs -whole, raw, including shell (minced)

150g liver (minced) * liver now increased to 200g PLUS 200g of other organ eg. spleen, pancreas, brain, lung, kidney, etc

150g sardines * increased to 250g sardines

400g tuna * tuna changed to salmon & reduced to 200g

2 cups rolled oats (was deleted at first, then after more research reduced to * 1 cup :) ... still researching -post #8)

splash of olive oil * changed to tablespoon of Wheatgerm oil

tablespoon of granulated garlic * garlic reduced to a flat dessertspoon

1/2 bunch fresh parsley (minced)

(green tripe is looking like a good addition too)

Bones every 2-3 days (fat/skin trimmed). Most lamb bones particularly necks; chicken wings or legs; turkey wings. We've had a few issues of trial and error and these seem to be the ones they do best with.

Madeline's teeth are almost perfect now :) , just a little plaque left on one back tooth. Her skin is much improved, although she still gets some breakouts but nowhere near what she was like a few months ago.

Sarge had his Dental last thursday and also had a skin tag warty thing removed from his cheek. He had one tooth removed during the dental, but we have a nice shiny clean slate now :rofl:

I'd like some input on Greenies please. They get them every 2 days or so, and they have the Teenie size. Sarge in particular still hasn't got the hang of eating the whole bone properly yet, and I found that the Greenies really helped his teeth in the first few months (they were really bad!). They're one of the few things that he actually chews properly and really gets them onto his back teeth. Here is the Greenies FAQs page... http://www.greenies.com/en_US/FAQs/default.aspx

The dogs don't seem to have any side effects or any other problems with them. What do others think about Greenies being included with a raw diet?

While doing my raw research, I found that there seemed to be two particular factions who are very committed to their own theories; the prey model feeders based on David Mech's research with wolves, and the BARF feeders who follow the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food theory (Billinghurst). It all gets a bit confusing when even the 'experts' can't agree, including vets!

I've used information from both sides as well as looking at info from Lonsdale, Schultze and Pitcairn to come up with my own opinion and my current feeding plan.

I'd like to hear other people's input and opinions on their own methods of raw feeding :rofl:

Edited by yellowgirl

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Parkeyre   

Their skin is great, they didnt smell, their coats looks/felt lovely. I would say that what you are doing with their diets atm is really good for them.

They're looking great. =D

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Luke W   

Ummm....they're losing their fur!?!?!?!

.

.

.

.

Sorry, couldn't help it :happydance:

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Diet sounds good. Is their skin getting whiter? I can remember that on eof them had lots of black/brown yucky skin that was slowly going lighter.

Are you mixing that stuff all up together into one big batch? I probably would seperate it a little and feed different stuff on different days.

Ummm....they're losing their fur!?!?!?!

.

Sorry, couldn't help it :cheer:

:happydance::thumbsup::cheer:

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Thanks Bonnie :eek: . Maddie was a bit of a stinker when I first got her, but that was mostly due to her neglected skin. And Sarge had some breath issues due to a couple of rotting teeth. They both smell lovely now :laugh:

Ummm....they're losing their fur!?!?!?!

.

Sorry, couldn't help it :D

Good wun Luke! :thumbsup:. Actually, now that you mention it, what used to be quite sparse hair on Madeline's back, now seems to be thicker and faster growing ... thick back hair, not exactly a good look for a hairless princess :cheer:

Diet sounds good. Is their skin getting whiter? I can remember that one of them had lots of black/brown yucky skin that was slowly going lighter.

Are you mixing that stuff all up together into one big batch? I probably would seperate it a little and feed different stuff on different days.

Yes, that was Madeline. Link to that thread... http://www.dolforums.com.au/index.php?show...=168353&hl=

The white spots aren't quite as noticable now but many are still there. I think it must be part of the change of her skin going from being so clogged and blocked to more 'normal' healthy skin. It's certainly getting better, and the ABs sure helped with getting rid of the initial infections. I think she has a kind of back to front oily t-zone. Her neck, back and back legs do better with Curash (zinc oxide) powder sprinkled on them, and the rest of her skin does well with a slathering of olive oil. Go figure :happydance::cheer: .

Would there be a specific benifit to dividing up the ingredients and giving them separately?

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tomas   

Good ON you!

I personally feed prey model and always have,I DID add veggies maybe the first year about 10 years ago,but as well as it being a pain to mush them all up,they just don't need the sugar.

I have Vizslas and I find their ears and breath are better without the veggies.

Also I don't add any carbs at all,so no oats for me.

IMO you are wasting money on these things. They really do not ned them and as you have read Mech,you will know what I mean.

Again,I would ditch the Greenies. UGH! It's just Green hard goop! I can see your reasoning behind giving them to Sarge but do you not think in time he will come around...in the meantime if he is'nt getting those sugary things he would'nt have any plaque buildup and you can always add ground chciken carcasses for the bone portion,as well as egg shells.

My 5 boys have never been more healthy or look better than on prey model.

I wish you the best and am glad they are doing better already :happydance:

Tomas.

Edited by tomas

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Would there be a specific benifit to dividing up the ingredients and giving them separately?

I guess my thinking is that I would get bored if I had to eat the same thing every day and in the wild dogs wouldn't have access to the same foods every day. Also some things take longer to digest then others.

I am not a fan of oats either and Greenies are full of lots of stuff that can set itchie dogs off.

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Thanks guys :thumbsup: . You know, I went back and forward with the oats issue. One of the main reasons I added them was because they were a main ingredient in the Vets all Natural blend and supposedly contained a lot of necessary nutrients. But you're right about the carbohydrate issue tomas, and my initial thought was that not only were they not necessary, but won't be digested properly anyway. To be honest, I got swayed by the fact that they were in other products and marketed as being advantageous to the dog's health. Thank you both for the reminder :cheer: ...(edited)

I've also gone back and forward with the veggie 'issue'. In all the research that's been done, and the fact that many are now modelling their pets' diet on the wolf's natural diet, I'm wondering if some of the information on which this diet is based is being dismissed/disregarded? According to Mech, dogs don't eat the stomach contents of large prey, which is his reasoning for the fact that they don't need veggies (and also because their digestive system can't break down the cellulose wall of whole vegetables).

The wolves rupture the sac and shake the contents out, however, they do eat the sac itself as well as the other digestive organs which would include vegetation eaten by the prey.

They also eat entire smaller critters including the stomach contents, as well as available vegetation and fruit. Admittedly, this would be more of a scavenging or opportunistic meal when a large prey meal wasn't available, but perhaps Mother Nature designed it this way and designed the wolf’s digestive system in such a way that the vegetation they eat is actually an important part of their whole diet?

For me, this makes sense. Veggies do need to be mushed up to break down the cellulose walls (as they would be in smaller, whole prey), but I do think that the addition of veggies incorporates essential nutrients into the diet.

The veggies are probably my biggest point of contention in regards to their overall diet and I managed to actually hurt my brain looking up various opinions and facts and weighing up all the research :happydance: . The above is my own theory and at the moment it makes sense to me. :cheer: I'd be interested to hear other's thoughts on my 'theory' :laugh:

... edited 28/7 to add that based on 'my theory', if dogs were eating the sac and digestive organs, both grain matter and veggie matter would be included (hence the changes to the original ingredient list)

Edited by yellowgirl

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Well done Yellowgirl - I think you've waded through the vast information and various sides of the debate very well.

I came to the same conclusion as you - but for the additional reason of controlling weight - my 10 year old westie boy is a food machine and I find adding veggies helps satiate them, adds bulk and nutrients to their diet while helping them lose weight... important in this household. Yet I like giving them the whole food of the prey diet - its wonderful to see them eating chicken frames and whole fish - so I feed what I consider the best features of both the prey and barf diets with some veggies - and my guys are thriving.

Thanks for your recipe. I think it looks very good :happydance: and will try it with my guys - like you though, minus the oats.

Thanks and Cheers,

Westiemum :cheer:

Thanks guys :eek: . You know, I went back and forward with the oats issue. One of the main reasons I added them was because they were a main ingredient in the Vets all Natural blend and supposedly contained a lot of necessary nutrients. But you're right about the carbohydrate issue tomas, and my initial thought was that not only were they not necessary, but won't be digested properly anyway. To be honest, I got swayed by the fact that they were in other products and marketed as being advantageous to the dog's health. Thank you both for the reminder, they won't be in the next batch :D

I've also gone back and forward with the veggie 'issue'. In all the research that's been done, and the fact that many are now modelling their pets' diet on the wolf's natural diet, I'm wondering if some of the information on which this diet is based is being dismissed/disregarded? According to Mech, dogs don't eat the stomach contents of large prey, which is his reasoning for the fact that they don't need veggies (and also because their digestive system can't break down the cellulose wall of whole vegetables).

The wolves rupture the sac and shake the contents out, however, they do eat the sac itself as well as the other digestive organs which would include vegetation eaten by the prey.

They also eat entire smaller critters including the stomach contents, as well as available vegetation and fruit. Admittedly, this would be more of a scavenging or opportunistic meal when a large prey meal wasn't available, but perhaps Mother Nature designed it this way and designed the wolf’s digestive system in such a way that the vegetation they eat is actually an important part of their whole diet?

For me, this makes sense ( a lot more sense than adding oats :laugh::cheer: ). Veggies do need to be mushed up to break down the cellulose walls (as they would be in smaller, whole prey), but I do think that the addition of veggies incorporates essential nutrients into the diet.

The veggies are probably my biggest point of contention in regards to their overall diet and I managed to actually hurt my brain looking up various opinions and facts and weighing up all the research :thumbsup: . The above is my own theory and at the moment it makes sense to me. ;) I'd be interested to hear other's thoughts on my 'theory' :vomit:

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Kuntooki   

Yellowgirl congratulations on doing your reseach and doing what's best for your dogs :thumbsup:

I would sugget Flax Seed or Omega Oil as being better than Olive Oil in their diet.

I would also agree with you that vegetable matter would be important. Dogs do eat grass after all.

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corvus   

I don't think vegies are necessary per se, but I think the argument that because wolves don't eat them much dogs wouldn't is flawed. Dogs, no doubt, can survive very well on just meat and organs, but as far as I know free-ranging pariah dogs would tuck into a pile of rotting fruit or veg quite happily enough, which is a good enough excuse for me to add a little. I would take the meat to vegie ratio up a little, though. Although it depends on how easily they maintain a healthy weight on that ratio, I guess.

I also add kelp powder for trace elements and brewer's yeast for.... I forget. I did the research years ago! I also add some dairy in the form of cottage cheese or plain, low fat yoghurt. I don't think they need that stuff, but they sure like it and it doesn't seem to do them any harm.

With the vegie mix, stay clear of corn and maybe use only a little potato. Corn is a grain after all, and potato can be hard to digest, I think. I usually put in a bit of pumpkin and sweet potato, which my dog seems to really like mixed in with his cottage cheese. It's much more fibrous and less starchy.

That's just my take, though. I think dogs can do excessively well on prey model or BARF. I kinda mix and match. I like giving whole fish and feed lots of chunks of meat and I usually do an organ meal once a week rather than mixing it in, but that's just my way of compromising and trying to cover all bases. :thumbsup:

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Well said corvus - me too - I mix and match and my guys are all doing extraordinarily well - well satiated and very healthy!

Cheers,

Westiemum :thumbsup:

I don't think vegies are necessary per se, but I think the argument that because wolves don't eat them much dogs wouldn't is flawed. Dogs, no doubt, can survive very well on just meat and organs, but as far as I know free-ranging pariah dogs would tuck into a pile of rotting fruit or veg quite happily enough, which is a good enough excuse for me to add a little. I would take the meat to vegie ratio up a little, though. Although it depends on how easily they maintain a healthy weight on that ratio, I guess.

I also add kelp powder for trace elements and brewer's yeast for.... I forget. I did the research years ago! I also add some dairy in the form of cottage cheese or plain, low fat yoghurt. I don't think they need that stuff, but they sure like it and it doesn't seem to do them any harm.

With the vegie mix, stay clear of corn and maybe use only a little potato. Corn is a grain after all, and potato can be hard to digest, I think. I usually put in a bit of pumpkin and sweet potato, which my dog seems to really like mixed in with his cottage cheese. It's much more fibrous and less starchy.

That's just my take, though. I think dogs can do excessively well on prey model or BARF. I kinda mix and match. I like giving whole fish and feed lots of chunks of meat and I usually do an organ meal once a week rather than mixing it in, but that's just my way of compromising and trying to cover all bases. :laugh:

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Thanks for the input and suggestions everyone :thanks: . I just spent the last hour trying to find certain references! My stupid printer wasn't working when I was researching and I usually print everything out because I have trouble recalling stuff off the top of my head, especially when my brain is filled with so much information!

There was a reason I didn't include flax products, kelp or yeast, but I can't find the references :laugh: . The short, basic reason was because they tend to interfere with the natural balance of vitamins and minerals that's already incorporated in a complete diet. I figured I'd start with the basics first and see if supplimenting seemed necessary afterwards :thanks:

Thanks again for replying everyone. I like to hear about what others are feeding their dogs and why, and it's wonderful to hear that so many dogs are thriving without commercial foods :thumbsup:

Edited by yellowgirl

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ness   

Yep mine get veggies for weight control. Ness puts on weight like there is no tomorrow and at least she can have a second meal of veggies while Kenzie eats her other meal. Ness has always had 2 meals a day and if she gets fed once she tends to head off and find stuff so therefore it keeps her thinking she isn't being starved.

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Stitch   

Well done - yet another raw food convert!!!

I thought I was doing the right thing by giving my Dobe boy VAN for years (as his breeder stipulated) only to find it was the main cause of all his skin problems and his body odour. :laugh:

I have been feeding him prey diet for months now - no more skin problems, thicker hair, shiny coat and less odour - he still likes to roll in dead things though plus he supplements his diet himself with slow birds! :thumbsup:

All my show dogs (who were also on VAN) have BARF and I have seen an improvement in skin & coat with them too. I have one girl on Hills ID or Euk Low Residue because I can't use anything else. I am hoping that one day I will be able to find a natural diet for her but she has IBD and it has proved hard to settle on raw.

Overall it proved to me that my dogs just didn't need all that grain that is in VAN! :thanks:

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cassie01   
Well, we've done it! Sarge and Madeline are on a raw diet... and processed kibble is completely off the menu now :)

I can't believe how much I've learned in the past couple of months, and considering I ran my own pet food shop for almost 10 years (and thought that not feeding preservatives, additives and chemicals was I knew all I needed to know), I'm so glad that I opened myself up to looking into things further :vomit:

I managed to slowly get the dogs onto all raw (no more cooked meat) and they have bones every two to three days.

Here is their current diet... input appreciated :vomit:

I mix up a large batch and freeze it in small packs.

2kg mince (lamb, turkey, beef or pork - combo of two)

1 kg veggies (minced)

3 eggs -whole, raw, including shell (minced)

150g liver (minced)

150g sardines

400g tuna

2 cups rolled oats ... won't be included in future batches.

splash of olive oil

tablespoon of granulated garlic

1/2 bunch fresh parsley (minced)

Bones every 2-3 days (fat/skin trimmed). Most lamb bones particularly necks; chicken wings or legs; turkey wings. We've had a few issues of trial and error and these seem to be the ones they do best with.

Madeline's teeth are almost perfect now :vomit: , just a little plaque left on one back tooth. Her skin is much improved, although she still gets some breakouts but nowhere near what she was like a few months ago.

Sarge had his Dental last thursday and also had a skin tag warty thing removed from his cheek. He had one tooth removed during the dental, but we have a nice shiny clean slate now :vomit:

I'd like some input on Greenies please. They get them every 2 days or so, and they have the Teenie size. Sarge in particular still hasn't got the hang of eating the whole bone properly yet, and I found that the Greenies really helped his teeth in the first few months (they were really bad!). They're one of the few things that he actually chews properly and really gets them onto his back teeth. Here is the Greenies FAQs page... http://www.greenies.com/en_US/FAQs/default.aspx

The dogs don't seem to have any side effects or any other problems with them. What do others think about Greenies being included with a raw diet?

While doing my raw research, I found that there seemed to be two particular factions who are very committed to their own theories; the prey model feeders based on David Mech's research with wolves, and the BARF feeders who follow the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food theory (Billinghurst). It all gets a bit confusing when even the 'experts' can't agree, including vets!

I've used information from both sides as well as looking at info from Lonsdale, Schultze and Pitcairn to come up with my own opinion and my current feeding plan.

I'd like to hear other people's input and opinions on their own methods of raw feeding :rofl:

Thankyou so much for the diet, I have been looking around to start my eight month old staffy on raw for a few months but was a bit confused, he was on commercial, you have now helped me, I am going to the shops today to buy all the ingredients for him and I hope he will now thrive. :laugh:

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I don't think vegies are necessary per se, but I think the argument that because wolves don't eat them much dogs wouldn't is flawed. Dogs, no doubt, can survive very well on just meat and organs, but as far as I know free-ranging pariah dogs would tuck into a pile of rotting fruit or veg quite happily enough, which is a good enough excuse for me to add a little. I would take the meat to vegie ratio up a little, though. Although it depends on how easily they maintain a healthy weight on that ratio, I guess.

Wolves do eat them, though, so I think that argument is even more flawed than you've stated. :)

Wolves eat vegetables:

a) inside the intestines of large prey (even though wolves "shake out" the rumenoreticulum before eating it, the rumen wall has a huge surface area to trap grass, so there's still plenty of fermented of grass matter remaining in the guts after a good shaking - yes, I've tried this and can assure you it's true!)

b) in the intestines of whole small prey

c) i also have a couple of pictures of wolves in yellowstone eating fruit just by itself in a bad hunting season, which presumably occurs reasonably regularly in the wild state

Like Corvus, I too feed veges and some grains (and will feed fruit when I can get my new miss fussy to eat some), although I do so in moderation. Dogs can do without these things, but that's not necessarily helpful guide to what's best - dogs can initially seem to do well on lots of things that are sub-optimal for the long term. Since I can't get fresh green tripe very often, I do what I think is second best and feed the veges hand processed.

I also add yoghurt for the good bacteria, fish oil for EFAs, and kelp powder for iodine. My girl also regularly self supplements with cow and sheep poo from the farm - I wonder if there is anything of nuritional value there? I'd suspect there's some vitamin K and probiotics, but that's just a wild guess.

As for the rest of my diet, we feed chicken necks/backs, mutton chops, lamb heart, beef liver, lamb kidney, and canned sardines. Since I'm both paranoid and very interested in canine nutrition, I've gotten hold of the NRC "nutrient requirement of dogs" values and spreadsheeted out the nutrients in my pup's typical diet to compare to NRC values. I figure having done this will come in handy in future when I graduate & have to recommend a diet to my clients, it should provide some form of proof that I'm not being negligent in my advice to them as could be claimed by disgruntled clients if I just "winged it". Plus I'm a geek, so it's fun.

:laugh:

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Stitch   

I think the key point to feeding veges and fruit is 'in moderation'.

In theory wolves would get the contents of the gut of what they have caught and that wouldn't amount to very much vege matter compared to the animal/bird they have caught.

Also grains, what they would get via the gut of prey would have started to ferment with gastric juices and compared with the amount of muscle meat, bone, skin, feathers or fur, would not be very much! Very different to feeding grains via VAN or similar where it is recommended to soak the mix for only 12-24hrs (without gastric juices) and if you follow the directions on the pack, you feed quite a lot of grain mix.

My dogs would eat everything I eat even oranges and mardarins :) but that doesn't mean that it is good for them (or me either)! :laugh:

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Guest Tess32   
Guest Tess32

I would vary the offal more (not just liver), and have bones every day.

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You guys rock! I'm really enjoying the input and suggestions from others :party:

Cassie, well done on looking at the 'other side' of feeding :rock: . Keep in mind that I have hairless Chinese Cresteds, so the amount of fish and added oil might not be necessary for hairier dogs. As long as your boy's getting lots of meat and bones, you can play around with the other ingredients to suit him. Apart from being the best diet for him to thrive, I also find it fun to feed this way, and nothing is more wonderful than watching your dog being a dog chomping on a meaty bone :)

Staranais, I agree with your veggie comments :rock: . I noticed that many prey model feeders recommend feeding green tripe, which is the stomach lining of the prey and contains partially digested vegetation, at the very least it contains the nutritional components of the herbivores diet (ie vegetation).

I had a look at the NRC nutrient requirement of dogs values that you mentioned. Hmmm, I don't think I'd be too keen to follow some of their 'findings'. They mention that an "adult dog’s daily diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates" which (just my personal opinion) I don't think is correct. They also say that the main options for feeding are "dry, semimoist, and canned foods" ... no mention of natural foods at all. (this is of course assuming that I actually googled the correct site ;) ). If I remember rightly, you're training to be a vet (yay you!), so you'd be looking at lots and lots of different opinions and data.

Thanks Stitch! The VAN suppliment has been doing my head in, I just don't get it! It seems that anything that's marketed by a vet or promoted by a tv celebrity automatically gets the seal of approval, regardless of whether it's actually appropriate or healthy for the dog or not!

I agree with your point about everything in moderation. I've decided not to add fruit due to the extra sugar content (thanks Tomas, you got me thinking :rock: ). I realise that veggies contain certain sugars too and I may even lessen the amount of those too. In my previous 'recipe' I had the same amount of veggies as meat, so I've halved it already (see, I am learning ;) :rock: )

Tess32, bones every day would be great, but Madeline's system just can't handle any more than she's getting, she gets very constipated otherwise. Her teeth look fantastic! ;)

What are other good organs?

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts Bonnie Parker, puggy_puggy, Luke W (well, not so much :) ), tomas, westiemum, Kuntooki, ness and corvus. Everyone's viewpoint and experience is worth sharing (again, not so much Luke W :) ) and I'm glad we can help each other to give our dogs the best :cheer:

... only kidding Luke, I think you're funny ;)

Thanks everyone! :) . I'd love to keep the chat going :)

Jo

xxx

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