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Dog Paralysis Left Side And Euthanasia


Guest rafflehuseman
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Guest rafflehuseman

I'm new to the group and this is my first post....I'm looking for some reassurance from other grey owners as I'm really really struggling with the loss of my girl one week ago. My 13.5 year old girl, Raffle. She was such a sweet good girl, just at her vet 1 month ago. Other than typical aging issues, no major issues. Her Vet said she was really good for her age. The last 6 months she had occasional pee accidents at night, barking more at me, and not seeing quite as well and didn't want to go down the stairs on her own anymore. Her vet said it was typical aging vision loss. She could still see but just not as good.

 

The way my condo is set up, my front door is on the ground level, you open the door and there is a small area for shoes/rug, etc and then 18 stairs up to the 2nd floor living space. Raffle used to wait at the top of the stairs for me when I got home from work and then she would come down when I opened the door and we would go outside to potty. The last few months she was too scared to go down the stairs on her own. When I get home she would be waiting at the top of the stairs, I would go up and put her leash on and walk down with her side by side and she would be ok that way. She still went up the stairs ok on her own.

 

For the last 10 years, I have come home on my lunch break to take her for a quick walk so she didn't have to wait all day to potty. I came home on my lunch break last Friday as usual, and everything was fine. She had ate all her dog food, wanting her treat, walked outside etc. I went back to work for the day. I came home from work at the end of the day a little later than usual(around 6pm instead of 4:30). When I was trying to open my front door it wouldn't open. I was able to get it open enough to see that umbrella I usually have standing up in corner inside of door had fallen over and was laying in front of the door. I was able to get my hand in enough to move the umbrella out of way but something still blocking door and then I saw a little bit of Raffle. I said "Raffle, what are you doing down here, how did you get down here?" then I realized she was LAYING down at the bottom of the stairs and I then saw some blood as well. It was the most awful moment. I realized she was awake and alert but couldn't get up. Her paws and legs were cut up and bleeding. I knew she can't go down those stairs alone anymore and is scared of them so I was an emotional wreck thinking how she must have fallen down all those stairs and had been laying there scared waiting for me to get home. She wasn't moving her two left legs at all and I thought they were broke from falling down the stairs. It was Friday night and her normal Vet office was already closed. I called 7 vets that make housecalls and none answered. I couldn't pick her up on my own and didn't want to hurt her more. My neighbor came over, but he is an older gentleman and unable to help me move or lift her as well. She still knew me and if I tried to go upstairs or outside she would start getting anxious and try to get up although she couldn't. My neighbor could keep her calm by petting her. Typically she has always done the thing where whenever I stop petting her she would paw at me to keep petting her more and she kept doing that to me if I stopped petting her, so she was alert. Online I finally found an animal ambulance and I called them and they came and transported her to the 24 hour emergency vet. They beat me to the clinic and she was already back with the Vet when I got there but it couldn't have been more than 10-15 min. As I was filling out paperwork at the desk they said to bring it back because the Vet wanted to talk to me. I went in and the Vet came back and sat down and said "I need to have a serious talk with you. Raffle doesn't have broken legs or anything broken, she doesn't have any areas of pain. I think she may have had a stroke and that may be when or how she fell down the stairs. The reason she isn't moving her front and back left legs is because she isn't able to move the left side of her body. There isn't anything we can do for her and the prognosis is very very very poor, so you are going to need to make a difficult decision tonight. And when I say that I never say that lightly".

 

I am not married, no children and was alone. I was still in shock as well as very emotional from finding my girl like that when I got home and I wasn't in the right emotional state to ask the Vet the right or logical questions at that time, I was just trusting her and her expertise. I went outside for air and back in back and forth for about an hour. Then the vet tech came in and talked to me and was recommending the same thing as the Vet. I asked if it was what she would do if it was her dog and she said yes. I asked if I could take her home for the night and spend some time with her and they didn't recommend that as she wasn't able to get up on her own and anytime they tried to move her or she tried to move herself she would get scared and flail the two legs that she could move. They offered to lay some comfy bedding on the exam room floor and bring her in so I could lay with her for awhile. I layed with her for about an hour petting her, telling her how sorry I was and bawling my eyes out. She was euthanized that night.

 

The next morning I was full of guilt and 2nd guessing. There were so many questions I had that I didn't think of or wasn't in the right emotional state to ask the night before. I'm afraid that the decision was rushed and too soon. But I wasn't really given any other options and followed the Vet's recommendation. They didn't do an MRI or other tests, just a physical examination of her? Why didn't they offer to keep her there overnight or why didn't I think to ask to keep her THERE overnight to see if there was any improvement or recovery the next day, especially if she wasn't in pain? If there wasn't any improvement the next day I would feel better about the decision because if she wasn't able to get up, etc I know that would not be a quality of life for her. But right now I'm feeling like I betrayed her because how do we know she wouldn't have improved, why did the decision have to be made THAT night? It's so hard because she was still alert, etc! I can't change it now, but I'm really really struggling getting past this. I'm looking for reassurance of anyone that has this same experience with an older grey. Do they typically not recover, are the Vets able to determine a stroke without any tests, are the Vets able to determine certain extent of paralysis to make that determination?

Edited by rafflehuseman
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It is very common to second guess yourself. You gave your girl the final gift, setting her free of a body that was failing her. She was probably very scared. Waiting wouldn't change her condition , just prolong her suffering. Please know that dogs are very spirtitual and do not fear death.

I hope her memories will give you comfort in this sad time. Talk to your girl, she will hear you. Ask her to give you a sign she is OK.

I am sorry you both went thru this. I think everyone here knows the pain in your heart.

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I am so very sorry that you had to lose your Raffle so suddenly.

:bighug

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

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Somehow a sudden death is so much harder than one you can see coming, especially under traumatic circumstances.

 

FWIW, you will never know if she could have or would have made any sort of recovery to have any sort of quality of life following a stroke of this nature. Second guessing yourself is very common, and you feel terrible, but put yourself in her paws - you are partially paralyzed on one side of your body, you can get up, you can't go potty with any dignity, you may not even be able to eat or if you can eat your body may already be shutting down and would unable to process food. For myself, I would hope that the person I loved best in the world would be able to set me free of that failing body.

 

She lived a good, long, and happy life with you - 13+ is an incredible age for a greyhound to reach! And it's natural and right to miss her as much as you loved her. But there comes a time for everyone's story to end. You did the very best you could for her with the information that you had, and that's ultimately the only thing you can do in these circumstances.

 

I'm so sorry you lost your swet girl..... {{{hugs}}}

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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I'm so sorry. Like Greysmom said, a sudden death is just so disconcerting. I lost my Carl at home, I didn't even have time to get him to the car, let alone to an emergency vet. It was horrific. My heart goes out to you. Please don't second guess yourself, letting her go was the most unselfish thing you could ever have done.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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I lost my Joe in a similar fashion this past November. I woke up in the middle of the night, and his hind end was just gone. I knew that night that I would let him go in the morning, but I was lucky in that once I got him back to bed he was happy to be there and not in any distress. I know I did the right thing, but I still look back and wonder if there was another choice. I miss him terribly.

 

Your girl was upset. She was scared. You took her to someone who evaluated her and gave you advice, then gave you space to make the choice and spend time with Raffle. Taking her home would have been difficult to impossible. You would have had to keep her on puppy pads, clean everything that came out of her, possibly learn to catheterize her. You would have had to leave her alone every day when you went to work. She would have been scared and uncomfortable.

 

You made the right decision. It was a horrible one, it always is. I am so sorry Raffle died, but so very glad she wasnt in pain and that you were able to be with her. Take care of yourself.

Edited by Riverhound
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This is never an easy decision to make, and second guessing yourself is completely normal, but you did the right thing. Part of our responsibility to our pets is to give them the best quality of life we can, and when the time comes, due to injury, disease, or old age when they no longer have that good quality of life, it is time to give them the last gift and let them go. It is a shock when it happens unexpectedly, I know, but you would not have done her any favors by trying to take her home. :bighug

Edited by Remolacha
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I agree with everybody else - you absolutely did the right and best thing for your dear Raffle. What she would have asked you to do, if she could.

 

Many condolences on your loss and thank you too for the good sense and courage you displayed on her behalf in that last crisis.

Edited by DocsDoctor

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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You made the right choice. No doubt at all. I'm just sorry that you had to make it. (One of mine had a similar, life ending incident -- not a stroke but a tumor pressing on her spinal column, that suddenly caused one side to be paralyzed.)

 

 

 

Godspeed, good girl.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Please do not second-guess yourself. You made the correct decision for your friend. I couldn't post last night when I read this as my eyes were leaking too hard. Your situation brought me back 16 years to when it was just my first greyhound, Pagliaccio, and me, in exactly that same condo setup as yours. We moved twice before we had to say See You Later when he was just a bit older than Raffle. Pal's situation wasn't the same, but over 16 years there have been 16 greyhounds here, primarily seniors, and coming home to find one in crisis will do something to your head and heart. Sometimes you have no choice and have to make a split decision, with others you have more time to prepare but your head and heart are still changed forever. Having been through both prepared and sudden losses, I have come to know that the sudden goodbyes are more traumatic for us. I lost Paddy Mayhem last year after a very brief illness at age 7, he was the youngest of my angels to receive his wings. You and Raffle were gifted with 10 years together and 13.5 is a remarkable age! We just want them to go on here with us forever, and they do live on in our hearts. I've seen it often enough to be confident to say that if you believe in signs, keep your heart and eyes open because they are all around us. Your love for Raffle and hers for you has been so incredibly strong, I am sure that she will show herself to you. Love is energy and a bond that cannot be broken.

 

Take your time to grieve and heal and try to re-visit the good times, when you and Raffle were smiling and all was well. New normals take time. I am so sorry for your loss. :grouphug

Edited by FiveRoooooers

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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You are currently in shock and stressed out at the suddenness of what has happened as well as the loss of your lovely girl but when your mind has calmed down I am sure you will come to accept that you did the right th8ng for Raffle.

You query whether or not the vet was correct in their diagnosis but I think you should take comfort that they were completely honest with you and didnt suggest a barrage of expensive tests or offer the possibility of an unlikely positive outcome because they recognised that your girls quality of life was no longer tenable.

I can tell you from experience that trying to move and care for even a paralysed whippet is no easy matter, there is no way I would attempt it with a greyhound. My whippet was suddenly paralysed from his waist backward when a disk went in his back one Bank Holiday Saturday evening and after taking him to the emergency vet and with the hope he might recover I brought him home but by the third day, having had to take him back to the e,vet Sunday evening to empty his bladder, I called a vet to the house to put him to sleep, neither of us could cope with the physical problems and it was obvious he was never going to recover. It was one of the easiest decisions I have had to make for my animals because it was so obviously the kindest thing for him. He wanted to be his normal happy bouncy self but couldnt do anything but drag himself along and I couldnt let him live like that.

Your Raffle was lucky to have an owner who loved her not only during her time with you but who was able to put her quality of life first and make and take the decision to end her distress at the right time and no houndie can ask for more.

Edited by Banjoman

Miss "England" Carol with Chancey - (Goosetree Chance) and whippet lurcher Nutmeg

R.I.P. Bluegrass Banjoman. 25.1.2004 - 25.5.2015 and Ch. Sleepyhollow Aida. 30.9.2000 - 10.1.2014.

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Guest rafflehuseman

It is very common to second guess yourself. You gave your girl the final gift, setting her free of a body that was failing her. She was probably very scared. Waiting wouldn't change her condition , just prolong her suffering. Please know that dogs are very spirtitual and do not fear death.

I hope her memories will give you comfort in this sad time. Talk to your girl, she will hear you. Ask her to give you a sign she is OK.

I am sorry you both went thru this. I think everyone here knows the pain in your heart.

Thank you everyone for your calming words and taking the time to share your experiences. It will not bring my baby back but its slowly helping me get to place of accepting I did the best thing for her that I knew at the time. Greys and their owners are a special group and I knew I came to the right place for support. Especially after having a friend say to me this week just remember....its a dog......some people just dont understand the bond we have with our dogs, especially our greys. My girl was such a sweet, sensitive old soul. I picked up her ashes last night and it was a horrible night, reading yall thoughts this morning has brought me some peace

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Adding my condolences. :grouphug

 

We will always second-guess ourselves. What if, maybe, perhaps ... . It is part of the pain of loss. But at least it is our pain, and not our beloved dogs'. They are free from pain, and fear, and struggle.

 

My first hound died in a similar situation to Raffle. She was the same age, and in seemingly even better shape. I made the same decision as you. When I took her to the e-vet early one morning, she was alert and looking out the car window though lying down. I carried her ashes home the next evening. One thing that influenced my decision having recently read a book, How We Die, by Sherwin Nuland. What he wrote about people is, I think, also true for all other creatures. When we near the end of our life span, we are not in good shape. Everything has naturally deteriorated. We are still alive because no one thing has deteriorated to the point of no-longer-functioning, but all of our systems are teetering on the edge of the precipice. Often even a minor health problem is enough to send us over.

 

Just a few days after my girl died, another elderly hound on GreyTalk was in a sudden life-or-death situation, and her human (who no longer posts here) chose to try everything available. There were weeks of operations, staying in a crate at the vet's, medications, not eating, agitation, infections, and everything else that accompanies heroic measures, before her human finally let her go. We were all pulling for her, but I also realized I was glad I had not put my girl through that.

 

As posted above, be extra kind to yourself now. I expect that lunchtimes and coming home in the evenings will be especially tough. Give yourself permission to grieve. Come here and post about Raffle, and put up pictures so we can admire her. We all know what you're going through. :grouphug

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Ellen, with brindles Milo and Jeter, and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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I'm so sorry for your loss and for the terrible experience. I went through a similar nightmare last August with my old lady, Wendy. We always feel as though we should have done more and second guess our decisions. You did the right thing for your girl, Loved her in life and in death. She knew that. Sending gentle hugs.

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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So sorry to read of your sad and traumatic loss. Second-guessing is part of grieving (normal) and if we didn't do it we probably wouldn't be able to move on. You came back to your dog as she would have known you eventually would. You did everything right and called in professionals once you knew you had to. Euthanasia in those circumstances, and at that age, was very well advised. I'm sure the vet would have advised trying for some kind of recovery had such a thing been actually possible.

 

:bighug

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Condolences on your loss. My Max passed in January, same age (13.5) as Raffle and similar situation, I came home to find him with his left rear leg paralyzed, presumably a stroke. I made the same decision you did, had him euthanized that evening at the e-vet. Hard decision, but still think it was the right one. The vet gave me the option of having Max stay overnight and be seen by a neurologist the next morning. But he also said that best case scenario was the neurologist would recommend surgery, and at 13.5 the chances of anything close to a full recovery would be close to nil. While it might have been comforting for me to wait for the neurologist examination so I could say I gave him every chance, the reality was Max was terrified of being at the vet in a panic about his leg (as you indicate Raffle was), and would have been unfair of me to let him go on that way overnight while caged at the unfamiliar e-vet.

 

Max loved his walks and being active, and I take comfort that he got to live that way right up to the last day of his life. Sounds like you gave Raffle that as well, and it is a very good thing even if it does not seem that way right now.

Rob
Logan - LoganMaxicon15K.jpg - Max (Aug. 4, 2004 - Jan. 11, 2018)

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I don't mean to be harsh, but your dog was at the end of her life no matter WHAT you were going to do. If not right now, then soon. 13 and a half is very old for a large breed dog.

 

I'm sure she was a wonderful dog, and loved you very much. Please don't beat yourself up. She's at peace now.

 

When your heart is healed, I hope you will consider giving a new houndie a loving home.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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So sorry you lost Raffle in such a traumatic way. Its normal with grief to wonder what you possibly could've done differently, but you really did the kindest thing in letting her pass as she was already showing signs of age related deterioration which sadly can't be reversed.

 

There was a big dog in at the vets after spinal surgery that had some movement in his legs but couldn't stand, just prop himself upright while laying on one side only. It really is a full time job to care for such a disabled dog as they need lifting and turning frequently, maybe catheterizing, assistance with drinking, toileting, loads of cleaning and physio to stem the rapid muscle wastage from lack of use.

Big dog was a happy soul despite lack of mobility, discomfort (was on pain relief) and usual mental stimulation of getting outside but they can easily get depressed and its also hard emotionally on the carers. If they don't show signs of recovery then will need PTS as its not a good quality of life longer term, as happened with big dog after several months :weep.

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I am so very sorry for your loss. It's evident that you love Raffle very much and I completely understand how you feel.

 

We had a somewhat similar experience with our 13.5 year old first greyhound - she was my heart dog. I adored her. We took her to the vet for testing, as she had stopped eating and they said we should leave her overnight. Turns out she had some masses in her belly and overnight they gave her too much fluids, the masses moved and it caused hind-end paralysis. By the time we got there (we missed their first phone call that morning, so she waited even longer than she had to) - she had been suffering all morning, unable to get up, terrified by her surroundings (she hated being in cages and strangers) and we had to say goodbye on the spot. It was honestly one of the worst moments of my life and 8 years later, I'm still sometimes haunted by it.

 

That said, your vet probably didn't have the equipment there to diagnose a stroke so they went with what they suspected - it's not something a normal vet would have. The girl we lost 2 years ago lost the use of her back leg and we were told it was a suspected stroke. Even after taking her to a neurologist and spending thousands of dollars on tests, MRIs, etc. - they still couldn't definitively tell us whether it was or was not a stroke. We lost a lot of time & money going to appointments and having tests done, only to be told at her final vet visit (where I asked for another x-ray to be done) that they found bone cancer (we had still thought it was a stroke until that moment). They then told us they couldn't rule out that it was a stroke and bone cancer. It was crazy.

 

My point in saying all of this is that you'll always second guess yourself because you love, adore and miss Raffle. She was your sweet girl and you would've done anything for her - and you did everything you possibly could and in the end, did what you believed was best for her. Strokes are not an easy thing to recover from and when there is paralysis on an entire side in an older dog, it's pretty much impossible. We learned a lot about strokes with our last girl and we were told, even though she was only 8 and it was just one leg, that it would be an uphill battle to regain and retain use of her leg and it would likely never be 100% normal again.

 

Raffle's last few hours wasn't great for either of you - but spend more time thinking of all the hours, days, weeks, months and years before that of happiness and love you shared. :grouphug

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I'm so sorry. I think we've all second guess ourselves when faced with such a decision. It's really difficult and sometimes it seems like the "what ifs" will never end. Once the fog clears, you will stop questioning your decision and realized that you acted in Raffle's best interest. Our job is to ensure that they never live in pain, discomfort, suffer or lead anything but a great life. You did a good job :heart

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Xavi the galgo and Allen the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09.

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So sorry to hear of your most horrible experience. I know your grief is huge. Please accept some advice if you choose. The regret monsters come in the night, the hauntings and gut wrenching heart pain. Still happens for me eight months later. Just remember that regret, and guilt are the most useless emotions. The loving decision you made will always be the right one no matter how much you question it and haunt yourself. X

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