Take a Bite Out of Oral Disease

Dr_Doug_3724_Silo_BLOG_200x200

Guest Contributor— Answers Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Doug Knueven, veteran among veterinarians, examines raw nutrition as a healing power of pets and works to ensure an all-encompassing true health (physical, mental and spiritual) regimen in veterinary medicine for animals. Apart of his work with Answers Executive Veterinary Program, he’s a consultant for Answers product and program development, lecturer, and participant on panel discussions.

Oral disease is the most common affliction of dogs.

Most dogs over the age of three years have some level of gingivitis or periodontal disease. The development of oral disease is insidious. Bacteria in the mouth coat the surface of the teeth forming plaque. Over time the bacteria incorporate minerals and develop into thick, brown tartar. Eventually the bacteria work their way under the gumline causing gingivitis. If left untreated, the bacteria dive deeper into the tissues surrounding the tooth root resulting in periodontal disease and tooth root infections which can be very painful.

What’s more, once the bacteria invade the gumline they gain access to the blood, which can have far reaching effects. Research shows that periodontal disease is linked to heart conditions[i] and an increase in systemic inflammation[ii] in dogs. At the stage of tartar and gingivitis, the pet needs to have their teeth cleaned by a veterinarian. Because animals do not rinse and spit the way we do, dental work requires general anesthesia. Many times, extractions are needed. The whole ordeal can get expensive and is not without risk. Obviously, prevention is the best course of action.

Many pet caregivers, and even some veterinarians, believe that kibble cleans a pet’s teeth. The truth is that dry pet food does nothing to scrape the plaque and tartar off the teeth. As soon as the tips of the teeth contact the kibble, the nugget crumbles. Thinking that chewing dry pet food cleans a pet’s teeth is like believing that chewing on pretzels keeps our teeth clean – no brushing necessary.

Another thing to consider is that, unlike Answers raw pet foods, all kibble is high in starch (even grain-free dog food). Since starch readily breaks down into sugar that feeds bacteria, I believe that dry pet food is a major contributor to the pet dental disease epidemic.

Dog teeth being examined by the animal doctor

The Answers Three-Pronged Approach to Oral Health

First, Answers foods provide optimal nutrition to keep the tissues of the oral cavity at their healthiest level, and healthy tissue is better able to ward off invading bacteria. Fermented, raw foods are loaded with enzymes that can improve circulation, help speed tissue repair, and reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation —all helpful in healing gingivitis and gum disease. Raw milk is rich in Vitamin K2, which assures proper placement of calcium, and fermented bone stocks provide minerals in a form that the body can easily absorb. All these factors l work together synergistically to keep the teeth and jaw bones strong and healthy. Fermented stocks also contain glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which help repair compromised gum tissue and strengthen the ligaments that hold each tooth in place.

Second, Answers products use fermentation to propagate probiotic bacteria. These good bacteria inhibit the growth of bad bacteria that cause oral disease. By maintaining a healthy oral microbiome, these fermented foods help the mouth’s natural disease-fighting systems stay fully functional. Also, when the probiotics reach the gut, they improve the function of the systemic immune system which further helps to maintain oral health.

Finally, Answers has unique products to help with the mechanical removal of plaque, namely fermented chicken and pig feet. These are great for dogs to chew on for healthy gums and teeth. They naturally “brush” teeth clean while being chewed, scraping away plaque. Fermentation provides good bacteria that help prevent plaque from forming and is wonderful for overall oral health. Fermented chicken and pig feet are also a good source of glucosamine from cartilage that supports bone health. Of course, what a veterinarian sees as tools for dental disease prevention, pets regard as yummy, fun treats.

Oral disease can be deadly, and chances are that your dog is at risk. Defy the odds and prevent oral disease in your dog with the Answers approach.

 

 

 

[1] Glickman LT, Glickman NW, Moore GE, Goldstein GS, Hugh B. Lewis HB. Evaluation of the risk of endocarditis and other cardiovascular events on the basis of the severity of periodontal disease in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assn. 2009;234(4):486-494.

[1] Rawlinson JE, Goldstein RE, Reiter AM, Attwater DZ, Harvey CE. Association of periodontal disease with systemic health indices in dogs and the systemic response to treatment of periodontal disease. J Am Vet Med Assn. 2011;238(5):601-609.


ANSWERS CELEBRATES: CHRISTMAS DOGS EVERYWHERE

MEET OUR ADOPTED ANSWERS HOLIDAY DOG

Our Answers family absolutely loves our dogs and cats. (You may have guessed that!) We’re always happy to take in a furry new family member and often find our lives profoundly changed by each new addition, and our love for each unique personality.

So, this holiday season, we’d thought it would be fun to share the story of one adorable and lucky dog adopted this year by an Answers family member and the head of the Answers HR department.

The Story of Judah

Meet Judah. Here’s what we know about him. He was found over the summer along the Texas/Mexico border. His tail had been cut (possible home cropping gone wrong) and he was chained to a fence and left to starve.

 His “owners” moved and took their other two dogs, but left Judah for dead. Amazingly, he fought infection and wounds, and his tragedy turned him into a gentle giant who just wants to be loved.

Judah_Rescue_1024We believe he is about a year and a half old and predominately American Staffordshire Terrier. He is a big boy, most recently weighing in just over 75 lbs., and is expected to pack on some more weight.

Since adopting him from the rescue, we have fully transitioned him to @answerspetfood raw diet with an introduction to our fermented cow milk kefir and raw cow cheese bites to his pre-existing diet. Shortly after, he took to our raw diet seamlessly. His favorite foods thus far are Beef Detailed Formula, our kefir and raw cheese bites. Within a few days, we noticed Judah had more energy, required less water, and his bowel movements were less frequent and smaller. His coat is becoming soft and wounds are on the mend. He is thriving.

Avoiding any unnecessary stress, we’ve also given him Turkey Stock with Fermented Beet Juice because it’s high in Glycine. Glycine produces a calming effect and aids in sleep.

The kids have already established a few cute nicknames for him like “Judy with the booty” and “Jude the Dude”, they also think his “hot dog tail” is quite comical.

He has no idea the glamorous life he’s about to live and we are so blessed to have him. Welcome to the family big guy!

We wish a wonderful holiday season to all Answers pets and all the “new adoptions” that 2019 brought to our homes as fuzzy gifts of love we’ll cherish for years to come.

Share your holiday pet photos, and stories of how your new pet joined your family on our Facebook page and/or at info@answerspetfood.comJudah.Outside.1024


Healthier Snacking: Raw Chicken Feet

Natural raw foods are such a healthy option for your pet. But what about your pets’ love of treats? We have that covered, too. Answers™ organic raw chicken feet are a great option from our treat selection. They aren’t beautiful, but they offer these amazing health benefits:

Good bacteria for oral health

+  Great to chew and gnaw on for healthy gums
+  Naturally scrapes teeth clean
+  Fermentation processing of the raw feet ensures that good bacteria is provided, to help prevent plaque from forming on teeth
+  Promotes dental, bone and joint health

CHICKEN_FEET_BOX_1200x675A wholesome choice, too

Our chicken feet are always a holistic and authentic fermented raw ingredient. A wholesome way to delivery nutrients, they:

+ Contain naturally occurring probiotics, vitamins, and minerals
+  Are sourced from organic chicken, that are pasture-raised, and humanely raised and handled
+ Provide live enzymes for maximum nutrient absorption


Detailed™ Formula: no need to add a thing to this complete nutrition raw food choice

Our Detailed™ Formula is easy to feed because it’s a totally complete raw food choice in wholefood form. You don’t add anything to Detailed; it’s complete nutrition as it comes, as Mother Nature intended.

Detailed is complete, from meat and carrots to kefir.

Just remember: It’s all in the Detailed.

Because we get so many questions about this, we want to share the facts about Detailed™ Formula foods, from our pet-loving family to yours.

Detailed Formula: Complete food as is.

Our nutritionists and food scientists specifically formulate all Detailed Formula foods to completely meet and exceed your pet’s daily nutritional needs.

Detailed is naturally high in taurine and moisture, bioavailable nutrients include digestive enzymes, naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, and billions of probiotics for optimal health, energy, and well-being. It contains natural vitamins; no synthetic vitamins need to be added.

Repeat: Because Detailed Formula has everything a pet needs for a complete, healthy diet, you do NOT need to add any supplements or vitamins, pills or powders. Detailed makes it easy for you to give your pets the proper nutrition they need, as nature intended.

It’s a complete and balanced pet diet.

Everything good, in one bowl.


Detailed is created for ease of use without the hassle of DIY calculations and messy preparations. It’s complete and balanced nutrition for pets in all life stages. It’s 100% grain-free and gluten-free, with no fillers.

Detailed is made of 90% pasture-raised meat, organ, and bone, and 10% whole food ingredients. Including: Organically raised raw meat (livestock is pasture-raised, grassfed and grass-finished). Fermented organic vegetables (organic carrots, broccoli, green and yellow squash, green beans, spinach). Organic eggs from pasture-raised hens. Fermented cod livers, which are a natural, wholesome replacement for the use of highly-processed fish oil. High-vitamin butter to provide vitamin K2. This is a fat-balanced food, too. It also contains high quality Celtic Sea Salt©.

To know:
. +  #1 ingredient is raw meat in a 60/30/10 ratio
. +  GAP-rated sourcing
. +  Fermented organic vegetables

So, although you may have heard that you may have to add foods or supplements to some other raw food choices, the good news is this: Detailed Formula by Answers isn’t like the others. It’s complete. And, our foods also do not contain anti-nutrients, which are compounds that can come from synthetic or natural sources like beans, legumes, grains and nuts– foods that aren’t found in a pet’s natural diet, and that can therefore be hard for them to digest.

Just serve it up. Filled with good nutrition, Detailed is ready for your pet’s bowl.

Easy, right? If you’re ready for excellent, absolutely complete pet nutrition, Details Formula is your answer.

Detailed Formula choices include:

Pork: sustainably raised on GAP Step® farms
Chicken: organic and pastured-raised
Turkey: organic and pastured-raised
Beef: grassfed and grass-finished


Lystn, LLC, Manufacturer of Answers Pet Food In Response to the January 14, 2019 FDA Warning Notice

 This press release by Lystn, LLC d.b.a./ANSWERS Pet Food is in response to the January 14, 2019 Food Drug and Administration Warning Notice: “FDA Cautions Pet Owners Not to Feed One Lot of A+ Answers Straight Beef Formula for Dogs Due to Salmonella”. 

Before addressing the history and investigation behind the events leading up to the FDA’s posting of this Notice, please allow Lystn to correct a number of errors in the FDA’s Notice: 

(1) The Best Use By Date (BUBD) is incorrectly listed as 20/08 20. The correct BUBD is 02/08 20. 

(2) The statement that Lystn has recalled the affected lot in Nebraska is not correct. Lystn stopped further distribution of the lot in question working with Lystn’s distributor, retail stores and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture who reported the follow-up that the product was removed from retail store shelves. 

(3) Just one reason Lystn has not implemented a nationwide recall is because the product was only tested by the State of Nebraska and Lystn for which the test results were contradictory addressed below, and not tested by the FDA. 

The FDA Notice comments that the reason why the FDA issued this warning is because it (the product in question) represents a serious threat to human and animal health and is adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). It is important to note that neither Lystn nor any government agency has received any report of animal or human illness. Neither the State of Nebraska nor the FDA quantified the alleged finding of Salmonella which is just one factor for consideration when defining adulterated food under the FD&C Act. The FDA uses a Compliance Policy Guide which contains Nonbinding Recommendations of a “zero tolerance” of Salmonella for enforcement. In contrast to human consumed products inspected by the USDA, a certain percentage of Salmonella is allowed (some of the same sourcing Lystn buys as ingredients for its pet food). For just some of the reasons stated below, Lystn disagrees with the FDA “zero tolerance” policy, based upon our understanding of science and the FD&C Act. For additional information on our response to the FDA and Lystn’s position on these and other raw pet food industry issues, please visit our website. Additional information is forthcoming through continued updates. 

Because Salmonella is prevalent throughout much of the food chain and in our environment, Lystn formulates ANSWERS Pet Food products to protect the pets and their owners from potential harmful bacteria using what is referred to as “Hurdle Technology”. One step of Lystn’s Hurdle Technology uses natural competitive inhibition through fermentation by inoculating our products, which favors growth of desirable (good) bacteria but inhibits the growth of pathogens (bad bacteria). This avoids destroying the benefits of good bacteria needed in the gut of the pets ingesting ANSWERS Pet food and continues to protect the pets post ingestion and the household environment from potential pathogens. 

One (1) random test by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture was sampled 12/10/18 and revealed the presence of Salmonella in the Straight Beef Formula 4lb. Pounder for Dogs. Lystn requested a split sample of the product in question and while a confirmation of Salmonella was detected on the initial sample supplied by Nebraska, there was insufficient quantity to run all the quantitative tests. Lystn requested and received a subsequent larger quantity and all 4 samples tested negative for the presence of Salmonella. It is Lystn’s belief (as well as our science advisors) that the initial sample sent from Nebraska may have been cross contaminated in the lab, transport or elsewhere and should not be considered a representative sample. Even if Salmonella was present in the initial sample, equally important was that the quantification of Lactic Acid Bacteria in the subsequent samples was significant in quantity (greater than Log 7) confirming that our fermentation process was working and therefore evaluated as a safe product by Lystn’s team of scientists and advisors. 

Lystn’s Hurdle Technology and labeling addresses the concerns expressed by the FDA regarding product exposure and handling risks to children and immune compromised individuals, in that the good bacteria from the fermentation process continues to compete with bad bacteria, regardless of manner of exposure. Lystn’s labeling conspicuously identifies the products as being in the raw state and states – “For Pet Use Only: Not for human consumption. This product has not been pasteurized and may 

contain harmful bacteria.” The labeling also contains – “Safe Handling Instructions: Keep raw meat separate from other foods. Wash working surfaces, utensils, hands and any other items that come in contact with raw meat with hot soapy water.

We advised the FDA of Lystn’s extensive third party test results and science based evaluation that the food is safe and not a public health risk, in accordance with the assessment of an independent Ph.D. science expert in concurrence with Lystn’s science team. Nevertheless, the FDA proceeded to issue this Warning Notice without further consultation with Lystn. 

Many of our distributors, customers, and retailers alike understand Lystn’s use of competitive inhibition through the process of fermentation to protect our foods from pathogens. But, if after presenting our customers with our views, if a customer is uncomfortable with an ANSWERS’ product, they may return it (or any unused portion) to the place of purchase for a full refund. The Straight Beef Formula 4lb. Pounder for Dogs product comes in a cardboard milk carton box marked with lot code 2018 and a Best Use By Date (BUBD) of 02/08 20 sticker on the carton. The above referenced lot number and BUBD Lystn product was distributed at various times from 8/17/18 to 9/14/18 and sold through retail stores within the United States. 

ANSWERS Pet Food continues to be at the forefront as a leader in transparency and is committed to keeping you informed. We are in the process of creating a page on our website for the web and social media for our customers to go see the latest information concerning state and federal regulatory matters applicable to ANSWERS Pet Food and the raw pet food industry. To learn more about ANSWERS, our unique process, and the raw pet food industry, please visit our website at http://www.answerspetfood.com. 

The above comments and observations by Lystn are the current view and understanding of Lystn and not intended to be a statement of law nor contain all details that may apply. Thank you for time and understanding. 

Lystn, LLC, Manufacturer of Answers Pet Food 

Roxanne Stone, VP of Quality Assurance/Quality Control (801) 707-2175 or rstone@answerspetfood.com 


How to transition your cat to a raw food diet in 5 steps

Slow and steady wins the race when you’re transitioning cats onto a raw food diet.

Cats can be extremely picky eaters. Because of this, we recommend following our 5 step plan for transitioning your cat onto an Answers™ raw food diet to achieve success. Some cats will take to Answers™ almost immediately, but some will require days to weeks to accept the diet.

Remember: never, ever try the “tough love” method when switching your cat’s foods. Because cats will actually starve themselves to death if unable to access food they like.

Answers™ 5-Step Feeding Transition Plan for Cats

Step One: ELIMINATE THE ALL-DAY BUFFET

Cats naturally will tend to gorge rather than graze. Begin the current feeding schedule regularly twice a day. Again, please remember: do not use the tough love method. Cats will starve themselves to death if denied access to foods they like.

Step Two: PREPARE TO TRANSITION SLOWLY

Known as “imprint” eaters, cats have addictive natures. They become addicted to smell, texture, taste, size, shape, and temperature. Some cats will take to raw food immediately, but most will not. Have patience. Give yourself up to six months to transition.

Step Three: INTRODUCE A SMALL AMOUNT

Cats’ sense of smell is 14 times more powerful than that of humans. For this reason, introducing a new scent or smell to their food routine must be done very gradually. Under their usual kibble, place a tiny dab of room-temperature raw food. This will start to acclimate the cat to the new food scent. Be patient.

Step Four: INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF RAW FOOD

By gradually increasing the size of the raw food under their kibble, they will begin to associate the smell with their normal routine. They will eventually sample it, but the time frame for acceptance will naturally vary from cat to cat.

Step Five: SAMPLING LEADS TO EATING

Even if they reject their initial sample the first several times, they’ll eventually start eating their raw food. Once they’re eating, start increasing the volume of raw food and decreasing their kibble until they’re eating 100% raw diet.

Again, always remember: with cats, slow and steady will win your race. Patience is everything.

Why it’s so worth it: 8 benefits of raw feeding for pets

. + Odorless breath and white teeth, free of tartar and dental disease
. +  Shiny, smooth, oil-free coats
. +  Healthy skin, odorless body
. +  Improved energy and vitality
. +  Chronic allergies and infections subside and/or disappear
. +  Decreased visits to the vet
. +  Reduction in bowel movements; ?stool is firm and nearly odorless
. +  Clear eyes and ears

Learn more about the many health benefits of a raw food diet for your cat or dog, including the benefits for kidney and liver health, as well as how it can help you deal  with issue like diabetes, pancreatitis, and more.


How fermentation makes our raw pet foods safe & nutritionally dense

Answers Pet Food™ enhances the nutritional value of raw food through the process of fermentation. We use a special process of fermentation to safely enhance organic raw whole foods.

Cheese_Whey_1024x500

Why fermentation?

Fermentation makes our raw pet foods safe, and nutritionally dense.

Here’s how. Fermentation produces a natural medicine known as bacteriocins, which destroy unwanted bacteria. By utilizing raw cultured whey, cultured raw goat milk, and kefir, we created our own category in the world of pet food.

We’ve become the first and only fermented raw pet food diet in the industry.

Fermentation is a safe, healthier option to standardized High Pressure Processing (HPP) or the use of bacteriophage. Fermentation is inoculated with billions of lactic acid bacteria, or good bacteria, that when faced with a compromised environment, is able to prohibit any pathogen from growing and becoming a concern.

Because our nutritional vision is to provide the safest, highest-quality, most nutrient-dense, microbially responsible raw food product on the market, our scientists found that the best way to accomplish this was by using fermented raw foods.

It is a nutritionally rich option for dogs and cats.

 

Fermentation’s gut health benefits

Good bacteria is needed to create a thriving gut, and yet we believe that bacteria is the number one missing ingredient in pet food.

We inoculate every one of our foods with this beneficial bacteria and allow the organisms to thrive. These bacteria go to work pre-digesting the food, making it easier for pets to assimilate nutrients.

 

Helps support immune function

Fermentation increases B-vitamins, digestive enzymes, antioxidants, and lactic acid that fight off harmful bacteria. Good bacteria fill up the food and also inhibit the growth of bad bacteria.

We call it “safety through inhibition” and it is the most natural and effective way for us to make our products as safe and as healthy as possible.

Just as nature has done it from the very beginning.


The Heart of the Grain-free Debate

Dr_Doug_3724_Silo_BLOG_200x200Guest Contributor— Answers Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Doug Knueven, veteran among veterinarians, examines raw nutrition as a healing power of pets and works to ensure an all-encompassing true health (physical, mental and spiritual) regimen in veterinary medicine for animals. Apart of his work with Answers Executive Veterinary Program, he’s a consultant for Answers product and program development, lecturer, and participant on panel discussions.

Since last July when the FDA released a warning regarding a possible link between grain-free dog food and the development of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), the grain-free debate has raged on. Before we get into the grain-free issue, let’s back up and look at the disease we’re talking about. DCM is an ailment of the heart muscle brought on by a weakening in the muscle tissue. It is the most common cause of heart disease in certain large-breed dogs such as the Great Dane, Boxer, and Doberman Pincer, so there is a genetic component. However, this disease is also linked to a deficiency of the amino acid taurine in a dog’s blood.

The concern with grain-free diets is that they might lead to taurine deficiency. Most caregivers choose grain-free foods because they realize that grains are an unnatural ingredient in a dog’s diet. What they don’t appreciate is that grain-free diets simply replace the grain with ingredients such as peas, lentils, legumes, or potatoes, which are equally inappropriate foods for dogs. In addition, these grain replacers contain anti-nutrients which are natural plant compounds that interfere with the digestion and/or absorption of nutrients such as taurine. So, grain-free dog food manufacturers may formulate their diets to contain adequate taurine, but not account for the amount lost to the anti-nutrients in the diet’s novel components.

Meat and dry food for petsThe grain-free link to DCM has brought conventional veterinary nutritionists down from their ivory towers and into the media. They are using the concern over grain-free diets to extol the value of grain in dog foods. The mantra of the nutritionists is that, when it comes to pet foods, it’s not the ingredients that are important, but the nutrients. I suppose that they themselves eat “People Chow” [it would be great if you could link People Chow to this video – https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=934204840081266]rather than freshly prepared meats, vegetables, and fruits.

Pet caregivers are understandably confused. They seem to be forced to choose between foods with crummy ingredients, including gains, with adequate taurine, and dog food with nice looking ingredients that might cause heart disease. Some people have become convinced that corn is good for dogs (which is obviously not true unless you’re talking about corndogs).

For me, this whole grain-free debate is moot. The truth is that no mater how “natural” the ingredients, there is no processed dog food (grain-free or otherwise) that is appropriate for dogs. Dogs have evolved over millions of years to eat a balanced, raw diet such as that of wolves. That’s why their dental structures are nearly identical. A truly natural diet for a dog is free of grains, peas, lentils, legumes, potatoes and other starchy ingredients. It has all the needed taurine and no anti-nutrients.

So, skip the grain-free debate and go raw!


13 nutritional benefits of duck eggs for pets

Our newest Answers Pet Food Detailed Formula for dogs are now made with organic pasture-raised duck eggs instead of organic chicken eggs.

Duck eggs can have a uniquely beneficial impact on pet health, we’re pleased to bring these benefits to you.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Duck eggs are a high quality source of nutrition

* Duck eggs are an excellent natural source of protein.

* They are nutritionally-dense.

* Duck eggs have more yolk than chicken eggs.

* Pets (and people) with allergies to chicken eggs can often eat duck eggs.

* Pasture-raised ducks have access to the outdoors eat a healthier natural diet (including plants and bugs), which results in the better quality of pasture-raised duck eggs – and better nutritional value. Answers sources its eggs from pasture-raised ducks.

* Nutrients in duck eggs help support the health of bones and teeth.

• Duck eggs are also lauded for their delicious natural flavor.

duck eggs

Duck egg vitamins: naturally ideal

* Duck eggs contain many of the same vitamins as chicken eggs, but a higher amount of these vitamins are found in duck eggs

* Pasture-raised ducks lay eggs that are likely to contain more vitamin D from absorbing natural sunlight.

* Duck eggs are also a good source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B9 (Folate), B12, E, Iron, Phosphorus, Zinc, Selenium and Choline. Chlorine is an essential nutrient that helps the body’s cells communicate. It helps create neurotransmitters that facilitate nerve communication.

Low-carb duck eggs are a natural boost for a healthy diet

* Duck eggs have more Omega-3 fatty cells. Omega-3 fatty cells are believed to help dogs with skin conditions, heart health, kidney health, cognitive function, and arthritis issues.

* Low in carbs, yet high in fats and a large amount of cholesterol (more than twice as much as chicken eggs), duck eggs are perfect for low carb (and Keto) diets.

* Reports suggest that the peptides in the whites of duck eggs can help body absorb other important nutrients. It is also reported that they can potentially help prevent other diseases (such as heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases).
To learn more about the Answers Pet Food formulas that now feature duck eggs, please visit our site to see our complete range of pet foods.

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