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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone here who owns Pits, Rotties, Chows, Dobes, etc, ever have a problem at the vets with them assuming the dog is going to be aggressive?

The vet who has taken care of my Chows for the last 20 years has retired so I am trying to find a new vet. I didn't realize how hard it was going to be to find a vet that was comfortable dealing with breeds that aren't Golden Retrievers.

My original vet was terrific with the chows. He always let me hold them, never restrained them, and would slip their shots into them while chatting with me and the dogs would never know anything had happened. He never once acted like they were anything other then another dog coming into his clinic.

I tried a new vet yesterday who was rather young (of course they all seem young to me now!). He immediatly had the techician hold Rocky in a tight grip and told me to stand far away from him so that he wouldn't get 'possesive' of me. Poor Rocky is an absolute baby. He's never even growled at anyone in his life! But the minute they held him down in a tight grip, he panicked and started to struggle and his eyes got real big. Chows do NOT like to be held down by strangers who come at them out of the blue (even though he is half husky, he is still half chow).

The vet told the tech to 'watch out' and quickly gave him his shots. The minute they let him go, he was wagging his tail and taking treats and went into a sit and down when I told him too. I wanted to show the vet that restraining him like that was totally unneccesary just for a simple shot. He would have stayed still just fine if they had let me handle him. Heck, I could have given him the shot with no one holding him at all and he would have sat still.

So, the search is on for another vet. Luckily I have a year before his next heartworm test is due. It's too bad because this guy was the cheapest vet in the area but I'm not going to subject Rocky to that just to save some money.

What about you all? How do vets handle your dogs? How did you find one who is mellow with our breeds and realizes they are not all going to eat them alive?
 

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Unfortunately its the few aggressive dogs that have created a bad rep for the rest of them. The younger vet that you took Rocky to, probably was just afraid of the bad rep going around. These are the usual suspects (chows, pits, rotts), but I have found that they are least likely to cause issues at work. I absolutely can't stand Goldens...drive me up the wall (not meant to offend anyone, just a personal opinion on them...I'm sure they are lovely dogs for the right people).

I work at a vet, I'm the vet tech. I do restrain dogs for vaccines, but I try and make the dog feel as comfortable as possible before I even touch them. I give treats and talk quietly to them, never looking them in the eye or towering over them. When I do restrain, its more of a hug with stratching behind the ear or tummy that dogs like. There are the few dogs that are so scared that come in that just don't want anything to do with us, but they are few and far between (mostly terriers and poodleish dogs). With those dogs I try and be as quick and non-invasive as possible. Usually with those dogs we take them out of the room, which makes them less panicked than if they were to be in the room with their owners.

We don't ever assume that a dog is aggressive or will become aggressive just because of their breed. I watch their body language and their personalities in the room first before making a decision on how to work with the dog. Some dogs come in nipping at my feet before I even greet their owners...usually small dogs, because they are more than likely treated like babies by their owners.

Its especially nice when we get new puppies or younger dogs into the clinic. I always try and make it the most positive experience for them as possible. Lots of treats, playing, kind words, petting, etc. I always try and get the owners to bring their pups by as much as possible so they feel comfortable with us, just in case of an emergency.

I believe that its important to have a good relationship with your vet (first name basis). We have nearly 2000 clients at my work. I know probably 1/3 of them on a first name basis, these clients usually come in more than twice a year and some as often as once a month. I know the names of most of the animals and can match them to a last name. I even can recognize the cars that people drive LOL. The clinic where I work is fairly small and in a tight knit community. Word of mouth is probably our biggest avenue of marketing (if you can consider that marketing LOL).

If you feel the slightest bit of an uncomfortable feeling with them, find another. I would suggest interviewing several vets until you find one that you like. Call first and ask if they are willing to set up an interview (for free). If they are not even willing to give you ten minutes of their time for free then they are not worth it.

I might be biased on this just because of where I work, but I really do think its an important thing for a vet to really know you and your dog if nothing more than just in the case of an emergency. Your dog should feel comfortable with the vet, comfortable enough that if it needs to stay the night it doesn't feel completely stressed out.

end rant LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I can understand where you're coming from. I was a vet tech for years until I had my 'real' children. Usually it was the chihuahua's and poodles that tried to eat me but a lot of times it was the owners that I had the most trouble with.

My old vets office was one of those where they would recognize me as soon as I walked in. They knew me and all the animals very well and he even gave me his home number once after I took my dog home from surgery in case I needed to call him. He knew I was a vet tech and let me handle the dogs myself without a problem. I told this new vet that I was a former vet tech and usually held my own dogs but he wanted his own techs to hold Rocky down.

I think part of the problem was that he was seeing too many animals in one day. His prices are really cheap compared to others around here and I think he makes up for it in volume. He was in and out of the room with my two dogs in no time at all. He never asked any detailed questions about the dogs and kept calling them by the wrong names. He was recommended by my neighbor and since we were laid off in May, I was trying to find a cheaper vet to save on some cash.

I will check around and see if I can get any recommendations from anyone else and visit some clinics. At least Rocky has his Rabies shot and is legal for 3 years now. I will clip some more coupons and save up for a better vet for the babies. It sure was a lot easier when I could just take them into work with me and get everything for free!
 

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You need to interview your vets just as you would a new docter for yourself, these dogs are part of the family. If my vet restrained my dog for no apparent reason, he wouldn't be my vet anymore, hell my vet gets on the floor and plays with my dogs before they get any work or shots done. :smile: My male bull terrier who has been abused has issues with being restrained for anything; when he needs his anals done they let me go back with him to help hold him so he's not as nervous, he reacts by biting into the air even with a muzzle on. I think I have the best vet ever and I've converted sooo many people over to him it's ridiculous. And he never says a negative thing about me feeding a raw diet to the dogs, he does know that I don't come in all the time for the horrible diarreah problems I had before with my female when I was feeding a kibble diet.:biggrin:
 

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I really think the vet schools need to spend a bit more time teaching the young vets some dog psychology and behavior. It would certainly help the vets in the long run. I don't know how many times I've asked people not to reach over my chows heads to pet them but they first thing every one at the clinic does is reach right out at Rocky's head. He automatically ducks and looks up to see what their hand is doing and they pull their hands back quickly and think he is going to bite them. Even my kids have been taught not to reach out over a strange dogs head!

I guarantee that anyone who squats down and gives Rocky a treat and then scratches his neck and talks to him will be able to pat him on the head and ruffle his ears 30 seconds later. I used to tell people to get down on the same level with my chows to pet them instead of hovering over them but almost nobody was willing to do that! Some chows don't see well so they are much better if you are at eye level with them. You are always less threatening if you are down on the floor with a dog....which is probably why I live in jeans and a t-shirt all the time.

I may have to move to Washington just so I can go to your vet!
 

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I really think the vet schools need to spend a bit more time teaching the young vets some dog psychology and behavior.
Back in my days as a professional dog trainer, my vet used to call me to come down to her clinic and handle a dog that her staff couldn't. I remember one white GSD that was very cage aggressive and they couldn't get him out of the cage or they were afraid to take him out of the cage. The cage was in a small room so I just closed the door to the room and opened the cage door. The dog immediately walked out of the cage, came over to me and I put a leash on him. :smile: Simple, huh? The dog was fine once out of the cage. I came walking out of the little room with the dog on a loose leash. The staff was amazed. You would have thought I was CM or somebody. :smile:

Vets and staff should have been able to handle that but they were afraid the dog would attack them once out of the cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When you think about it, you can't really blame the animal for getting aggressive and upset in a cage. Here he is, stuffed in a metal box in a strange place with people reaching in to grab him!
He will automatically become possessive of his little space where he knows it's safe for now. Even now Rocky climbs into his crate to take naps and to sleep at night and the doors are wide open on it all the time. He just likes the feel of the safe little space (he has almost outgrown his crate).

I lost a dog last year because the vets didn't know how to handle him. He was recovering from a very painful knee surgery and when he woke up he was in a strange place, with strange people all around. He was a very heavy headed, thick necked Chow and when he got upset he started panting really heavily and trying to get up and leave. They kept giving him more and more morphine and sedative to 'calm him down' and his heart finally stopped. If they had just called me in, I could have sat with him and calmed him down just by being there and talking to him. This was a very advanced specialty hospital with all the latest equipment, but they still didn't know squat about how to handle an emotionally upset dog. They automatically went for drugs to control a dog instead of calling the owner.

RFD....maybe you should make a series of DVD's and send them around to vets! Doggie training and psychology in an easy to learn, portable format for vets too busy to take the time to learn from the animals.
 

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That was sad to read. Could your vet at least have put a muzzle on the dog if he was that afraid. No calm talking~ nothing! Then the sad story of the one you had who was heavily sedated and died. UGH! This is so sad to read. I am sorry your poor dogs are going thru this.:frown: Makes me sad just reading this.
I don't have any advice just hopefully that you can find a really great vet.
I know when I bring in my one dog my yellow Lab, she is very scared of people. She has this look on her that is scary to some folk (shes over 90 lbs solid but big) and I know if I see anyone of the vets at my animal medical center (other than one who loves labs) (He is the one I always try to have but if in an emergency or whatever you sometimes have no choice) Well anyway, I know any of the other ones want her muzzled and I am like well if I can just be with her she will be fine but nope they have to do this and this gets the dog even more upset than she normally is with the appts. and gee shes just a huge Lab! Well I do feel bad for you! Hope you find someone who is careing about these type dogs! GOOD LUCK to you!
 
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I absolutely can't stand Goldens...drive me up the wall (not meant to offend anyone, just a personal opinion on them...I'm sure they are lovely dogs for the right people).
In my experience working at a daycare/ boarding/ training facility.... it's the Goldens that are awful. Granted, they were once fantastic dogs, and there are still some wonderful ones out there, but any breed that becomes that popular becomes overbred so easily, it's tough to find a good one anymore.
Goldens. Labs. Yorkies. Bichons. The terrible four, at our facility, and all the others I've worked at.
By no means do I want to offend anyone, I have met wonderful dogs belonging to the breeds above, but as a whole, their popularity has put a lot of backyard breeders in business resulting in poorly bred animals.

Believe it or not, the dogs that seem to do the BEST with new people and dogs in our kind of environment are pits. They're fantastic. I've also NEVER met an aggressive rottie in daycare. As for Chows, I have zero personal experience with them, but I don't buy all the hype about the aggression.

It's all in the breeding, training, and personal relationship with the owner. Not the breed.
 

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You can get any breed from a BYB! I bought my one yellow lab from people who said their kids were allergic to her. When I got home noticed her paperwork in all the excitment (she was 5 months old) I did not look at it at the time just gave the woman the money for the dog and that was that took her home! Well anyway when finally looking at the paperwork noticed she came from a pet store one well known for puppy mill puppies! But oh well shes a big baby with us but not with others! Our beagle we bought from a breeder and the breeder is well known our vet that we use to go to knew the breeder. Now this dog after so much his legs went crooked so you never know with overbreeding if even a good breeder has their times when they should stop!
I have 2 labs my chocolate one is just the sweetest thing ever! Love labs always will! I would love a black one haha! I have had farm dogs (mutts) a dalamation pure bred wonderful wonderful breeder and others from breeders whom hmmm I question their ethics (meaning are they overdoing things or not) and this yellow lab here that well was somone elses from a pet store! And I am glad we "rescued" her from the other owners!

I agree its the training & how the pets treated & not the breeding quality well of alot of pets!
But their are so many BYB breeders it bad distiguishing the good form the bad! We all hope for the best with our little fur babies!
 

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You can get any breed from a BYB!
While this is incredibly true, the most popular breeds tend to be the ones who suffer most, because they sell fast. They're the quickest buck for a lousy breeder.

I bought my one yellow lab from people who said their kids were allergic to her. When I got home noticed her paperwork in all the excitment (she was 5 months old) I did not look at it at the time just gave the woman the money for the dog and that was that took her home! Well anyway when finally looking at the paperwork noticed she came from a pet store one well known for puppy mill puppies!
My Beagle came from a pet store, before we knew any better. He's been an absolutely wonderful family pet, and I wouldn't trade him for any breeder pup. Would I get another pet shop puppy nowing what I know now? Absolutely not.

I agree its the training & how the pets treated & not the breeding quality well of alot of pets!
Breeding selectivity absolutely DOES play it's roll in the quality of puppies produced. A good breeder breeds for first- health and second- sound temperment. Granted there are many other things on that list depending on what stock you breed be it hearding, agility, bird, etc., but a good breeder absolutely will not breed a tempremental or otherwise aggressive dog. A backyard breeder will because all that matters to them is tha the puppies are cute enough to make a buck, and don't care what behavior issues pop up later.
Training and treatment have their roles as well, but you can not change genetics.
Breeds like Goldens, labs, yorkies, and bichons became incredibly popular because or their amazing temperments and family dog qualities. Unfortunately poor breeding has undone a lot of these things. Again, I mean no offense to anyone. I have met wonderful dogs belonging to each of the breeds above. My point is I don't understand the ignorant views of pits, chows, rotties, dobermans, etc. In my years of experience working with dogs, very rarely do we see any aggression issues with these dogs. To be entirely honest, the breed that we see enter our training programs with aggression, believe it or not, is the Cocker Spaniel. :rolleyes: I personally love this breed, almost adopted one a few years ago that my work was fostering, but he wasn't dog friendly enough for me to trust with my dogs.
 

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Back in the 70's Chows got real popular for awhile and got terribly overbred by just about everyone and their brother. I think that's when they got the really bad reputaion. They are a lot less common now but you still see a ton of 'chow mix' dogs in the rescue groups and some chows for sale as purebreds that don't even resemble a chow except for the black tongue.

A true, well bred chow will never be aggressive but he will love his owners to death and be just a little wary of strangers. They bond to you like a little baby duck when you bring them home. Right now Rocky is laying on my feet because that's as close as he can get to me without actually climbing down my throat. If I go to another room, he follows along and lays next to me in that room. At night he sleeps up against the bedroom door to make sure I don't get up without him knowing it. I have raised two kids around Chows and they all had a ton of friends come over and not a single kid was ever scared of any of my chows. Even now I have to watch out because little kids LOVE to run up to Rocky and hug him with no warning. He just looks at me like "Is this allowed?" and I peel the kid off of him. It's the bear look they have that kids love and grownups are scared of.

I agree that one of the worst breeds to handle was cocker spaniels but I don't see many of them anymore. I guess they aren't as popular now. I'm always glad when I see a breed become unpopular. It gives it a chance to recover from being overbred. I never met a mean Lab but the one I owned had horrendous hips and enough other health problems from being overbred. It's time for Labs and Goldens to become less popular for a little while if only for health reasons.
 

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I'm always glad when I see a breed become unpopular. It gives it a chance to recover from being overbred.
I entirely agree. Sadly, it takes a lot more time to fix the damage done than it does to do the damage. A well-bred golden or lab is a wonderful pet- probably one of the best. It's just finding one that's tough.

I never met a mean Lab but the one I owned had horrendous hips and enough other health problems from being overbred. It's time for Labs and Goldens to become less popular for a little while if only for health reasons.
The "problem" labs that I come in contact with aren't generally 'mean', they just suffer a ton of health problems, and aren't the loyal, well-behaved dogs they breed is known for, which of course is in part due to training. Further looking at it, when was the last time I saw a 'pure-bred' lab that physically fit the breed standard? I don't even know...

It's time for Labs and Goldens to become less popular for a little while if only for health reasons.
Again, agreed. What I'm noticing right now, and maybe it's the economy and increased apartment living rather than single-family homes, is that small breeds are becoming so much more popular. I've primarily seen a serious increase in yorkies and bichons over the last two years. I never used to be a 'small dog' person, but the fact that boston terriers are becoming more popular is saddening because they're fantastic. Hopefully papillions don't take off, too.
 

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The 'thing' that is popular here right now is toy poodle mixed with everything under the sun. My neighbor just got a 'yorkie-poo' and my mother-in-law has a 'pom-poo' and both of them paid money for these special mixes! I've seen Chihuahua-poos and Malti-poos advertised. In my neighbors case the first puppy she got ended up dying from a genetic defect so the breeder gave her another from the same litter. Its a real sweet little puppy but it's still one of these new custom mixed breeds they are making. They aren't any healthier for mixing two purebreds together and making up your own designer dog. (My own little pet peeve that I have to rant about) I can go off on people when they start talking about labradoodles, puggles, yorkie-poos, etc like they are some exotic $2000 breed that is the latest thing!

I have always had one Lhasa Apso with all my Chows (guess I am a glutton for punishment!) so I do like certain small breeds. Lhasa's are too stubborn and tough to be really considered a small dog. My Lhasa used to wrestle with the 120 pound lab and hang onto the Chows butt fur while they ran across the yard, dragging her behind them.

I've never met a bad Boston but we saw a lot of them with eye problems. Shih Tzu's are usually sweet, and I personally like the little terriers like Norfolks, Westies, and Cairns but you don't see a lot of them. Scotties and Schnauzers were always just plain mean. I don't know why.

We had a Papillion breeder in Vermont who brought one of her females in once. That was the only time I ever saw one of those dogs. I don't think they will get popular just because they really are kind of rare right now, at least in my neck of the woods. Who knows though, they might invent Papi-poos and sell them for more then a real Papillion :)
 

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You can get any breed from a BYB! I bought my one yellow lab from people who said their kids were allergic to her. When I got home noticed her paperwork in all the excitment (she was 5 months old) I did not look at it at the time just gave the woman the money for the dog and that was that took her home! Well anyway when finally looking at the paperwork noticed she came from a pet store one well known for puppy mill puppies! But oh well shes a big baby with us but not with others! Our beagle we bought from a breeder and the breeder is well known our vet that we use to go to knew the breeder. Now this dog after so much his legs went crooked so you never know with overbreeding if even a good breeder has their times when they should stop!
I have 2 labs my chocolate one is just the sweetest thing ever! Love labs always will! I would love a black one haha! I have had farm dogs (mutts) a dalamation pure bred wonderful wonderful breeder and others from breeders whom hmmm I question their ethics (meaning are they overdoing things or not) and this yellow lab here that well was somone elses from a pet store! And I am glad we "rescued" her from the other owners!

I agree its the training & how the pets treated & not the breeding quality well of alot of pets!
But their are so many BYB breeders it bad distiguishing the good form the bad! We all hope for the best with our little fur babies!
I loved my black lab dearly but swore I would never have another labrador! She was the sweetest thing and my baby could crawl around on top of her while she just laid there grinning. She would let the 3 pound Lhasa puppy crawl in her mouth and the Lab would just nuzzle her and play incredibly gently with her. Even the cats would curl up and sleep with her. BUT.......she chewed everything in my yard including the siding off the house, the door frames, the lawn furniture, etc. We would send her outside for 5 minutes and remember we'd left a tool out but it would be too late, she would have chewed it up! She'd wag her tail and everything in the house would go flying. I had to baby proof AND Lab proof the house. She did settle down after about age 4 but then her hips went on her and we lost her at age 10.

I applaud anyone who can raise Labrador puppies and still remain sane!
 

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I agree with you both on the whole Cocker Spaniel thing. They are a pain in the butt. Another dog that is just plain wacked out is the Portugese Water Dog. They are such a pain to handle...at least at my work. We have a handful that come in to my work and they are all just too scared to work with. I don't know if its the breed or if its all the different people who own them that treat them the same...

And don't even get me started on Golden's....we only had one that I adored, and then she got hit by a car and died...hit and run...Poor old miss Fanny :(

Most of the Chihuahuas that come in are great little dogs...don't know if that ones strange.

I have found that the mutts at work are usually the aggressive ones...
 
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... chows for sale as purebreds that don't even resemble a chow except for the black tongue....
Forgive me please for being dumb, but, are Chows the only dogs with black tongues?

My shepherd mix may have some Chow in her as she does have a partially black tongue. Her tongue is mostly black with only a little of the normal pink color.

And she does have the Shepherd and Chow protectiveness in her! She loves and protects her family and turf and is very wary of strangers.
 

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If I may voice an opinion here. I don't buy the story about all those so called chow mixes in rescues. There are not a lot of pure bred chows but zillions if "chow mixes". My theory is that these rescues call a dog a "chow mix" anytime they have dark spots on the tongue. I had to pure bred Golden Retrievers who both had dark spots on their tongues. I am 99.973% sure they had no chow in their bloodlines.
 

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Forgive me please for being dumb, but, are Chows the only dogs with black tongues?

My shepherd mix may have some Chow in her as she does have a partially black tongue. Her tongue is mostly black with only a little of the normal pink color.

And she does have the Shepherd and Chow protectiveness in her! She loves and protects her family and turf and is very wary of strangers.
The Chow Chow is not the only breed of dog that has a black/blue tongue. Chinese Shar Pei dogs have them as well. Both of these dogs are a member of the Spitz family of dogs [huge grouping of dogs with similar characteristics-short stocky body, curly tail, dense coat (most)], which include: Samoyed, Siberian Husky, Malamute, Akita, Shiba Inu, Pomeranian, Norwegian Elkhound, Keeshond, etc. Most of these dogs will have some pigment spots on their tongues due to ancestral lines. The Chow Chow is one of the oldest breeds as far as ancestry goes back, originating in China obviously. Which can explain why most of the Spitz family of dogs usually have some black on their tongues.

There are many (~30) other breeds that commonly have black or blue spots on their tongues. This is simply a birth mark, or just extra pigment. Dogs will also frequently have birth marks on their skin under their coat as well. Nothing to worry about at all.

The gene that carries for the spotted blue/black tongue trait is simple recessive (not the same as the gene/genes that carry for the total black/blue tongue), therefore not every dog will express this gene that carry for it. It is also not found in every breed, but there are other breeds that have spotted tongues (in which case its just a birth mark/extra pigment).

If I may voice an opinion here. I don't buy the story about all those so called chow mixes in rescues. There are not a lot of pure bred chows but zillions if "chow mixes". My theory is that these rescues call a dog a "chow mix" anytime they have dark spots on the tongue. I had to pure bred Golden Retrievers who both had dark spots on their tongues. I am 99.973% sure they had no chow in their bloodlines.
I 100% agree with this. Rescues and shelters commonly say that a purebred dog is mixed with something if that purebred dog is one of the breeds that people tend to be leary of, ie Chows, Rotts and Pits. I live in Denver and Pits are banned here in the city. A lot of the rescue/shelters here post their animals as Pit mixes, when they clearly are nothing less than purebred...just to get these animals adopted out.

I also had a friend that had to lie to her insurance company about owning a Chow...the company said that they would not cover her homeowners insurance if she owned a Chow because they are too big of a liability...total BS to me.

It as been proven time and time again thru dog attack records that EVERY single breed out there is guilty of "violence" against humans. And that attacks are spread pretty darn evenly throughout all the breeds. There are the breeds that have more, but you gotta think about the situations that most of those dogs are in...like Pitts...a lot of the members of the breed are associated with dog fighting rings. So sure, those dogs are much more likely to act aggressively towards humans...but they have been trained to do so.

I wish that people would engage their brains and stop coming up with these BS laws and regulations around dog breeds... :mad:
 
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