YOUR PET´S DENTAL HEALTH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK!

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February is CalviàVet´s Pet Smile Month – the month designated to promote Dental Health Awareness.

At CalviàVet we believe that looking after pets´ teeth is as important as looking after any other part of their body and it´s an aspect of our patients´ health which often gets overlooked.

So this month, dental health assessments and preventative advice are FREE and we are giving a 15% discount on all dental treatments for all pets with a free fluoride treatment for cats and dogs.

Keeping your pet’s teeth and gums in good shape has many health benefits in addition to maintaining fresh breath. Pet Smile Month is a great time to schedule a free checkup for your pet to ensure the best dental health possible.

WHAT IS DENTAL DISEASE?

Dental disease does NOT only affect senior pets. Without preventative dental care, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age three. Dental disease progresses in stages, progressing from mild gum disease to severe bone infection and tooth loss. If caught early, you can prevent further damage and save as many teeth as possible.

Periodontal disease progression

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PET HAS DENTAL DISEASE?

Our pets are far braver than we are and, in the early stages, they may not show any obvious signs of a problem. Bad breath is often, but not always, the first indicator of dental disease.
Not only is your best friend´s bad breath unpleasant, but an infected mouth can result in other, ‘larger’ problems, such as heart, liver and kidney disease from the overload of bacteria surrounding the infected tooth which enter the blood stream.
Of course, less commonly, other conditions could be causing bad breath in the absence of, or in addition to, tooth/gum disease. This is why it´s always advisable to get your pet´s halitosis checked out by a vet.

Other symptoms of advanced dental disease include a reluctance to eat or play with toys, “chattering” of the teeth when trying to eat, lethargy, bleeding gums, and failing to groom (cats). Some may also exhibit drooling or even pawing at the mouth.

HOW DO WE TREAT DENTAL PROBLEMS?

During a dental assessment, we perform a full and thorough dental examination assessing the state of the mouth. In certain cases where a problem is suspected but the patient is not willing to sit back and give us a big “aaaahhhh”, a mild sedation may be necessary. We generally have to give a full general anaesthetic for dental proceedures, as unfortunately, our furry patients won’t tolerate the strange sensations of the ultrasonic scaler to remove the tartar or other treatments requiring them to remain still with an open mouth for prolonged periods.
If a dental treatment is deemed necessary, we will perform a pre-anaesthetic health assessment to make sure your pet is fit and not suffering any underlying illnesses. Antibiotics are sometimes used prior to and after a dental cleaning to prevent bacterial spread through the blood stream.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE TREATMENT?

Because we feel dentistry is a very important area of veterinary care, we have imported the most advanced veterinary dental equipment we could find.
The patient will be put under anaesthetic and carefully monitored throughout the proceedure which will vary in length from 20 minutes to 120 minutes depending on the severity of the problems. We will then remove the plaque and tartar with an ultrasonic dental scaler the same way it is done in humans. If the teeth are in a bad state we sometimes have to remove them as otherwise they can be a source of pain, discomfort and infection for your pet. Any stitches used will dissolve in the mouth on their own.

After cleaning the teeth we then polish them with a special prophylactic paste to delay the build up of plaque in the future. A further fluoride treatment can also be given. Benefits include desensitising exposed dentin, strengthening tooth enamel and decreasing rate of plaque reattachment.
As soon as the proceedure is completed we wake your pet up, ensuring that they are snug and warm and recovery is pleasant, calm and stress-free. In the case of extractions, we administer 2 types of painkiller before they are awake so that any pain is kept to a minimum. Pets go back home with their owners once they are fully awake and up on their feet.

DENTAL HYGEINE AT HOME

There are many ways you can help keep your pet´s teeth nice and healthy:

– If you can train your pet from a very young age and she/he tolerates it, regular tooth brushing is the best prevention method. With a new puppy or kitten you can initiate a good dental care program at home. We are always happy to provide brushing lessons, and sell brushes and toothpaste specifically for dogs and cats. (NOTE: do not use human toothpaste on your pet!)
You should brush your pet’s teeth once daily but realistically, even once or twice a week is great too -setting up a routine and getting into the habit will help.

– Give them something to chew on. Dental sticks or chews are great but you have to be careful not to give too many as they can easily cause weight gain or stomach upsets. Toys like the Kong type and chewing ropes are an excellent option …they last longer and pets can play for ages chewing on them. Bones are excellent too but always best given under supervision and preferably uncooked since these are less likely to splinter or break up and get swallowed.

– Specially designed diets like Royal Canin Dental or Hills T/D have been developed to actively clean the teeth while the animal eats and provide your pet with a complete and healthy meal. They definitely slow down the future build up of plaque and tartar on teeth, increasing the interval between dental proceedures.

– There are also products available that you can mix in with the food or drinking water that help retard the growth of bacteria on teeth.

Please take advantage of this opportunity DURING FEBRUARY for a dental assessment at no cost and with no obligation. We will give you an honest professional opinion and, in most cases, an immediate proceedure will NOT be called for. We can give you advice that will most likely prolong the period until a full treatment is needed or even prevent having one all together!

So phone and make an appointment to discuss your pet’s dental health with us and we will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Tel: 971 695108
e-mail: info@calviavet.com

A link about how to brush your dog´s teeth here: http://www.petsmile.org/index.php?nav1=3&nav2=5&nav3=1

A link about how to brush your cat´s teeth here: http://www.petsmile.org/index.php?nav1=3&nav2=5&nav3=2

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Why do you need to deworm your pets regularly?

We have recently begun a programme to remind our clients by SMS to deworm their pets on a regular basis- usually every 3 months, which is the recommendation for most animals based on average infestation rates.
Many people overlook this very important preventative treatment and we have found that some pets are only receiving a once-yearly dose when they come in for their  annual vaccination and health check.
People will often say, “My dog definitely doesn´t have worms- I check his faeces every day” or, “My cat only stays in our garden so she wouldn´t pick up anything nasty”.
In most cases, mild worm infestation can be well-tolerated by healthy adult animals. Their bodies will cope and they may show no symptoms of illness whatsoever nor will you see actual adult parasites in the faeces. So why should we be concerned about worms?
Well firstly, by allowing the worms to live and reproduce and shed their microscopic eggs in their thousands into the environment, we are increasing the chances of passing them on to other dogs. Puppies or immune-suppressed individuals will not be asymptomatic and healthy individuals with high numbers of parasites can experience weight loss, chronic diarrea, vomiting, poor haircoat, anaemia, respiratory infections, exercise intolerance and even death.

roundworm

Recently, the first few cases of heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) have been diagnosed in Mallorca which is a definite cause for concern too as these worms will infest the chambers of the heart and cause heart failure and death to our pets.
The second and extremely important reason is that worms from dogs and cats are known to infest humans too. We are not their “hosts” of choice, yet there are frequently documented cases and some pretty gruesome stories involving people facing very serious illness from these parasites.
There is an ever-increasing choice of deworming products available. Over-the-counter products from supermarkets and pet stores will often be less effective medications that no longer need to be sold under prescription and there is often a strong resistence to them- yes, these wiley worms can also become “immune” to certain drugs just like resistent bacteria! Always use the most up-to-date veterinary products to be sure they are effective.
The best product and frequency of use for your particular pet is something that needs to be discussed with a vet as circumstances, risk levels and ease of dosing can vary hugely between patients and we always try to tailor the right regime for each patient.
 
So if your pet´s last worming dose was some time ago and you would like to keep your pet and family as healthy as possible, get on top of that anti-parasite programme! If you have any questions, we are always here to help.

 

 

 

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SEPTEMBER – Calling all Portly Pets: Free Weight Loss Clinic at CalviàVet

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Losing weight  – how to get started

Weight loss is tough for anyone: two- or four-legged! However, losing weight can add not only years to your pet’s life; it can also make those extra years more enjoyable. Shedding a few kilos off your cuddly canine, furry feline or lop-eared lagomorph may be easier than you think. It simply requires understanding the need for weight loss and fitness, attention to details and simple assistance from us, your veterinary healthcare team. At CalviàVet, we feel so strongly about getting our patients slim and trim that we offer a free weight loss programme after our initial assessment for as long as it takes- regular weigh-ins, advice and diet adjustments will cost you nothing! And since September is our designated WEIGHT-LOSS MONTH we won´t even charge a consultation fee for your first visit, so there is absolutely NO excuse to keep ignoring those fat rolls!

Why a Healthy Weight is Important for your Pet

As few as 1 kilo above your pet´s ideal weight can put it at risk for developing some serious medical conditions. Unfortunately, when an animal is overweight or obese it´s no longer is a question of “if” your dog will develop a condition secondary to the excess weight but “how many and how soon!” Some of the common disorders associated with excess weight include: -Type 2 diabetes -Respiratory Disease -Heart Disease -Osteoarthritis -High blood pressure -Many forms of cancer – especially intra-abdominal cancers Further, overweight and obese individuals are expected to live shorter lives than their fitter, normal weight counterparts. Heavy pets tend to interact less with their families and are less energetic and playful. Because they tend to lie around more, it is easy to overlook illnesses since we attribute their lethargy to their “normal laziness.”

Start with the Right Regimen

For weight loss, the formula seems simple enough: fewer calories in, plus more calories out equals weight loss. But, be careful: you should never put your animal on a diet without the assistance of your vet. For dogs, this is due to the fact that there may be a medical condition that is causing  the excess fat storage. Hormonal diseases associated with weight gain include hypothyroidism, insulinoma and hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing’s disease. These diseases, along with others, should be eliminated as possible causes or contributors to your dog’s weight issue prior to beginning a diet. And as for cats… their physiology is different to humans or dogs and if they do not eat for as little as two consecutive days, they can develop a life-threatening form of liver disease known as hepatic lipidosis. For this reason, care must be taken when introducing a change in feeding. It is vital that we calculate quantities correctly: Feeding too much will result in no weight loss and feeding too little can result in serious consequences for cats. The most simple and obvious type of weight loss programme would logically involve cutting back on the total amount fed per 24 hrs by around 15-25 percent.  In all the years that we have been in practice we have found this method to be the least effective! Strange but true! After the first few days we find that owners are so tired of their pet´s constant begging and discontent with this sudden decrease in their food supply that they will often just give up right at the start! Other clients report that, despite feeding up to a third less food, the pet has stayed exactly the same weight- or even gained a kilo!  We are yet to find exactly why this occurs so commonly, but suspect the wiley pet probably finds themselves a less resolved family member who feels sorry for them and is secretly topping them up with treats (!) or it´s even possible that the lack of food causes a drop in metabolism or perhaps they become even less active than before, thus expending fewer calories! It´s not to say that staying on the same diet and just cutting it back never works- of course it can- but it requires a good deal of resolve and patience on the part of the whole family! We have also had disappointing results with changing pets onto “Light” diets. These diets are useful for maintaining weight and preventing weight gain but ineffective for weight loss. There are a number of specialised veterinary weight loss diets now available and we have found feeding these in strictly measured daily quantities along with regular weigh-ins and chats with us to encourage owners or make any necessary changes, works really well in nearly all cases.

The Art of Changing Diet

When you are introducing a new diet, allow several days for the transition. In general, we recommend gradually adding the new diet over a one week period. Start by substituting one-quarter of the diet for one to two days, then increase to one-half total volume of food for another two days, then three-quarter new food for a final two to three days before completely switching to the new diet.

Exercise the Right Way

DOGS: Based on observations of people walking with their dogs, most people actually go for a slow stroll with frequent pauses to allow their dog to smell an interesting object or mark territory. We’re here to fight the flab, people! Walking for weight loss is very different to walking for pleasure. Make your objective to walk briskly – focus on the “out” leg of your walk and then you can smell the roses on the “back” leg. We recommend starting the activity with the brisk or “hard” effort first. Too often if we try to start slowly with the dog, allowing them to sniff and smell everything, we may have a challenging time getting them up to speed when we’re ready. Games like fetch will expend heaps of energy so are  always a great option provided you don´t overdo it in the case of animals suffering from arthritis or cardiorespiratory problems! CATS: Cats are generally sedentary animals who do their best to expend as little energy as possible apart from when hunting for food. Therefore the secret is to increase their play/hunting activity by making use of feather toys, flashlights, paper bags or balls, anything that your cat finds interesting to chase. Try to engage your cat for at least ten minutes twice a day. You can do this while you eat, watch television or even read. There are numerous toys that move and squeak that may also be interesting to your cat. Experiment and understand that what is exciting today may be boring tomorrow. …And general guidelines for both cats and dogs: – Move the food bowl upstairs or downstairs and rotate it so that they always have to walk to get to the food bowl. Fat pets are sly and if the food bowl moves upstairs, they’ll start relocating upstairs, too. – You can even play games to make them find their food by leaving small portions hidden for them to search out or even set up obstace courses with small piles of food along the route! (obviously, this takes time, planning and a sense of mischief on the part of the owner 😉 ) -There are various designs of food bowl/ feeding cubes which can slow down eating times of greedy guzzlers considerably. This stimulates them mentally too!

Rechecks and Weigh-Ins

 After we’ve put your dog or cat on a weight loss program, it’s critical that we determine if it’s working for them. Each pet is an individual and may require many changes in diet or routine before finding the correct approach. In general, they should be weighed every 2-4 weeks until the ideal weight is achieved. If there is no significant weight loss in one month, typically about half a kilo or more, then a new approach should be pursued. There is nothing more frustrating than persisting in a behavior pattern that is not achieving the results we desire when a slight change could deliver significant improvements. We will work closely with you to reach your goals faster and more safely.

Reluctant Losers

What about the cat that claws you awake at  four in the morning or the dog who stares at you during dinner or television time until you give in and feed them? Our pets have trained us well and know exactly which buttons to press when it comes to getting their way. Here are some tips for handling begging and pestering: -Pet or play with them when they beg for food. Many pets substitute food for affection so flip the equation and you may find that playtime displaces chowtime. -Walk your dog or take it outside when it begs. The distraction and interaction may be just enough to make it forget its desire for food. -Feed small meals frequently – especially give a last feeding for those who like to wake you up in the wee hours begging for more goodies – divide the total volume of food into four to six smaller meals – whatever you do, don’t feed extra food! -When the bowl is empty and they are making a nuisance of themselves, add a few kibbles to the bowl.(taken from the total daily ration, of course)  By a few, try ten or fifteen – not a handful. -Give vegetables such as baby carrots, broccoli, celery and asparagus. Dogs love crunchy treats so make it a healthy – and low-calorie – choice. – Offer fresh water instead of food. Many pets love fresh water so when they are eyeing the empty food bowl, fill up the water bowl instead.

Multi-pet Households

What do you do if one pet is normal weight and the other is fat? While there are countless creative solutions to this problem, here are a few we’ve found successful -Feed separately – this is the ideal solution for multi-pet households. Feed the heavier animal its diet in one room while feeding the other its food elsewhere. After a prescribed time, generally fifteen to thirty minutes, pick the food up until the next feeding. -Feed the normal weight cat up high where the fat cat or dog can’t go. -Do not leave food out while you’re away. In this scenario you can’t be sure who ate what and the smart money is on the fatty! -If the thinner animal is the smaller pet, feed them in a room with a small dog/cat flap that only they can fit through or secure a door ajar that the portly pet won´t manage to push itself through. Most dogs and cats will achieve their ideal weight within three to eight months. If the process is taking longer than this, something needs to be changed. Remember that the reason for your hard effort is to help your four-legged family member to live a longer, healthier life. For most dogs, the secret to weight loss is a dedicated, committed and concerned family member. Our animals don’t understand that their excess weight is killing them. It’s up to us as good stewards to protect them from harm and not inadvertently contribute to their premature death or development of debilitating diseases. Together – we, your veterinary healthcare team and you– can help your pet achieve its weight loss and fitness goals safely and successfully.

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Dog flea treatments killing cats!

Itchy catThe International Society of Feline Medicine is warning cat owners not to use dog flea treatments on their cats after a spate of deaths reported by vets across the country

The deaths are due to the insecticide permethrin, commonly found in dog spot-on treatments, which are widely available. This is highly toxic to cats, with often fatal consequences.

Instead of using a cat specific product, cat owners are mistakenly using flea treatments designed for dogs, which contain a toxic and concentrated dose of permethrin. Whilst there are warnings on packs, accidents continue to happen causing suffering and death to cats.

Cats can even be poisoned through contact with dogs in the same household who have been recently treated with flea spot-on products containing permethrin.

We would like to warn pet owners to check any flea products they have recently purchased. If pet owners apply any spot-on product containing permethrin to their cat, they are advised to wash it off immediately with water and a mild detergent, then seek immediate treatment from a veterinary surgeon.

CalviàVet has teamed up with feline welfare charity International Cat Care to petition for a change in licensing of these products by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. The petition asks that these products legally require verbal advice at point of sale from a qualified professional.  Under their existing licence permethrin products can be bought directly off the shop shelf with no advice.

Consumers can sign-up to the petition at www.icatcare.org/permethrin/petition

What makes these deaths all the more tragic is that pet owners were trying to do the right thing by treating their pets for flea. Simple errors, such as missing the warning labeling on packs or mixing up treatments, have cost the lives of much loved pets. Whilst we always give advice at point of purchase, it is not the law and therefore buying these products is as simple as getting your groceries. We’d encourage concerned pet owners to sign-up to the petition to get permethrin products relicensed, so they are sold more safely, via the International Cat Care website.

It should be noted that Permethrin flea treatments are safe to use on dogs, and there are safe spot on treatments available for cats which do not contain it, so please don’t stop your pet’s parasite control. If you are in any doubt, please speak to your vet.

Claire Bessant, Chief Executive of International Cat Care comments: “These cat deaths are totally preventable. This is simply down to mistakes at point of purchase, with pet owners mixing up cat and dog products, or simply unaware that you cannot use a dog treatment on a cat. The charity strongly feels that these treatments should be reclassified by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate so that they may only be purchased if advice is given about their correct use. As well as checking its intended use, pet owners should be asked if there are cats in the home which may come into contact with a recently treated dog, so that they can be warned to keep the dog and cat apart, or advised to use a different product.”

She continued: “The true number of deaths may be much higher as all too often it is not reported. If you have an incident, please help us make sure that no one else suffers by contacting the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to report a problem, and signing up to our petition.”

Spot-on flea treatments are applied via a small amount of liquid directly onto the skin of the animal’s neck. They can be easier to give than traditional flea treatments, removing the need for messy powders or sprays which can stress cats. Permethrin products are safe for dogs, as they are far less sensitive than cats to the toxic insecticide. Cat flea spot on treatments do not contain permethrin and neither do many newer dog spot-on products.

More information on permethrin poisoning in cats can be found on International Cat Care’s website www.icatcare.org/permethrin, including a list of the dog spot-on products which contain permethrin.

Sign-up to the ‘Protect against permethrin poisoning’ campaign at www.icatcare.org/permethrin/petition

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Fireworks and Dogs- a bad combination!

firework bully

A fear of fireworks is a common problem for dogs. Loud, unpredictable bangs and bright flashes of light are terrifying for dogs- particularly those that already have slightly nervous temperaments. However, even a seemingly confident dog can tremble or panic and try to hide when unfamiliar, threatening sounds invade his home. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to help your dog get through the festivities when it´s fiesta time in your town. Note that all of the following measures apply equally to other noisy events such as thunderstorms….

Desensitize Your Dog to the Sound of Fireworks

If you have some time before a fiesta or anticipated fireworks display in your neighborhood, you can begin getting your dog used to the sounds. This is referred to as desensitization, and it can be done in a few simple steps:

  • Find a video or recording of fireworks- there are special CD´s on sale at the clinic especially made for noise-phobic pets.
  • Play the video or recording at the lowest possible volume a few times during the day.
  • Pair the sound of the fireworks with things your dog likes, such as treats, meals, cuddle time, or a game.
  • Slowly begin to raise the volume of the recording over the course of several days, and continue to pair the sound of fireworks with good things for your dog.
  • If at any point your dog begins to show signs of fear, turn the volume down to a point where he feels more comfortable again.
  • Repeat this several times each day until your dog can hear the sounds of the fireworks at a fairly high volume without becoming fearful.
  • Be patient- the length of time needed is variable from one animal to another.

Help Ease Your Dog’s Fears during the event

If you don’t have time to prepare for the fireworks, or if desensitization hasn’t ended your dog’s fear of fireworks completely, there are things you can do to help ease the fear. The following suggestions may help with dogs who have a mild to moderate fear of fireworks.

  • Don’t leave a dog outdoors alone when someone when fireworks are going off. Besides the risk of a fear being created in a non-fearful dog, many dogs will do anything to escape and manage to get out of even a fenced yard in panic and be lost.
  • Don’t change your behavior– your dog is tuned-in to your behaviour and body language and picks up on any anxiety you may be feeling. Try not to react to the fireworks yourself. If you jump or tense up when you hear fireworks because you are anticipating your dog’s fear, you make his fear worse.
  •  Many people feel compelled to comfort their dogs when they are showing signs of fear. They might pet them more than usual, cuddle them, and try to sooth them, however, this often reinforces the dog’s fearful behaviors.
  • Drown out the sound of the fireworks. As long as it doesn´t add to the anxiety, turn up the radio or television and keep your windows closed and curtains drawn during the fireworks. If the weather permits, a fan or air conditioner (if your dog isn’t afraid of those sounds) can help, too.
  • Don’t push your dog past his comfort zone. If he wants to hide in his crate or under a bed, then let him. Don’t pull him out or try to force him closer to the fireworks in an attempt to get him used to the sounds. This may result in an increase in fear, and a frightened dog may become aggressive if pushed.
  • Ask us about DAP – Dog Appeasing Pheromone. This is a scent that only dogs can smell. It comes in a plug-in diffuser, spray or collar and can comfort your dog and help him cope with his fears by imparting a feeling of calmness and well-being. Note that this will be MORE effective if you start using it a couple of weeks before the firework season starts. For more information visit www.miedoalospetardos.com/dap1.html
  • Thundershirts are a relatively new idea for treating anxiety in dogs with some very promising results. a tight-fitting body wrap has been shown to have a calming effect. More info can be found at http://www.thundershirt.com/ 

 

Dealing with a Dog’s Severe Fear of Fireworks

In the case of a severe phobia, nothing may work to ease your dog’s fear. Some dogs can become so frantic that they are destructive or aggressive and phobias will often get progressively worse as the dog gets older, so you need to take steps as soon as you feel it is a problem. If there’s a chance your dog may exhibit this level of fear, come and talk to us about medication. We may be able to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication or sedative to keep your dog calm during the fireworks.

Medication may be the only answer to get through the fireworks this season. As soon as the fireworks stop, however, you can begin preparing for the next one with a program of desensitization. A trainer or behaviorist may also be helpful. In severe cases, you may not ever be completely successful in eradicating the phobia, but you may be able to ease some of your dog’s fear.

 

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Welcome to our new web page!

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Welcome to our brand new web page! We hope it will be a useful tool for making contact with us and finding up-to-date information about our clinic in Santa Ponsa.

For any questions, queries or comments, don´t hesitate to get in touch on 971695108 or email us at info@calviavet.com

We look forward to meeting you.

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Grass seed time

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It´s grass seed season again…..and somehow they manage to end up in eyes, ears, between toes, etc….

Check your animals carefully when they´ve been out in grassy areas and remove any seeds or thorns found caught in their hair. If you see any of the typical signs such as sudden vigorous head-shaking, pawing at ears or eyes, severe discharge from one eye, agitated licking of paws  or any swelling under the skin, do not hesitate to bring them for a check over.

Grass seeds can usually be extracted in the consultation room or under sedation in the clinic.

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