Eastside Animal Hospital accepts payment via Cash, Checks, Debit, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express as well as MoneyOrders and CareCredit. So that we can continue to provide you high quality service utilizing the best medical technologies, we request that payment be made at the time services are rendered.
We can provide treatment plans and estimates for all surgeries and hospitalizations. You are welcome to request one at any time for your expected charges.
Whether it's a routine checkup or emergency surgery, you shouldn't have to worry about how to get the best medical care for your pet. That's why we're pleased to accept the CareCredit healthcare credit card, North America's leading healthcare financing program. CareCredit lets you say "yes" to the best treatment for your pet immediately, and pay for it over time with monthly payments that fit easily into your budget.
CareCredit is the healthcare credit card designed exclusively for healthcare services with special financing for purchases of $200 or more. With CareCredit, you can use your card over and over for all of your pet's follow-up care as well as annual exams and vaccines. Learn more here or contact our office.
Ready to apply? Apply Online for your CareCredit card today.
Parasites Are Gross And Can Affect The Whole Family!
Visit the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) website for more information about parasites that can affect your pets. State, regional, and local information about parasites such as heartworm, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tick-borne diseases is available on this informational site.
Vaccines are important part of Wellness
Vaccinations are an important part of preventing disease in cats and dogs. Learn more about the vaccines we use and the importance and benefits of vaccinating your pets.
Websites That Have Our Approval!
The internet is vast and contains a lot of information. Too much, if you ask us. You truly cannot believe everything that is out there so we would like to highlight a few sources that we find helpful when it comes to doing your own internet research. Please, look around and feel free to call or come in with any questions you have!
CANINE HEARTWORM DISEASE
What causes heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease or dirofilariasis is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs. It is caused by a blood-borne parasite called Dirofilaria immitis.
Heartworms are found in the heart and adjacent large blood vessels of infected dogs. The female worm is 6 to 14 inches long (15 to 36 cm) and 1/8 inch wide (5 mm). The male is about half the size of the female. One dog may have as many as 300 worms.
How do heartworms get into the heart?
Adult heartworms live in the heart and pulmonary arteries of infected dogs. They have been found in other areas of the body, but this is unusual. They live up to five years and, during this time, the female produces millions of offspring called microfilaria. These microfilariae live mainly in the small vessels of the bloodstream. The immature heartworms cannot complete their life cycle in the dog. The mosquito is required for some stages of the heartworm life cycle. The microfilaria are not infective (cannot grow to adulthood) in the dog ? although they do cause problems.
As many as 30 species of mosquitoes can transmit heartworms. The female mosquito bites the infected dog and ingests the microfilariae during a blood meal. The microfilariae develop further for 10 to 30 days in the mosquito and then enter the mouthparts of the mosquito. The microfilariae are now called infective larvae because at this stage of development, they will grow to adulthood when they enter a dog. The mosquito usually bites the dog where the hair coat is thinnest. However, having long hair does not prevent a dog from getting heartworms.
When fully developed, the infective larvae enter the bloodstream and move to the heart and adjacent vessels where they grow to maturity in two to three months and start reproducing, thereby completing the full life cycle.
Where are heartworms found?
Canine heartworm disease occurs all over the world. In the United States, it was once limited to the south and southeast regions. However, the disease is spreading and is now found in most regions of the United States and Canada, particularly where mosquitoes are prevalent.
How do dogs get infected with them?
The disease is not spread directly from dog to dog. An intermediate host, the mosquito, is required for transmission. Spread of the disease therefore coincides with mosquito season. The number of dogs infected and the length of the mosquito season are directly correlated with the incidence of heartworm disease in any given area.
It takes a number of years before dogs show outward signs of infection. Consequently, the disease is diagnosed mostly in four to eight year old dogs. The disease is seldom diagnosed in a dog less than one year of age because the young worms (larvae) take up five to seven months to mature after infection.
What do heartworms do to the dog?
Adult heartworms: Adult heartworms cause disease by clogging the heart and major blood vessels leading from the heart. They interfere with the valve action in the heart. By clogging the main blood vessels, the blood supply to other organs of the body is reduced, particularly blood flow to the lungs, liver and kidneys, leading to malfunction of these organs.
Most dogs infected with heartworms do not show any signs of disease for as long as two years. Unfortunately, by the time clinical signs are seen, the disease is well advanced. The signs of heartworm disease depend on the number of adult worms present, the location of the worms, the length of time the worms have been present, and the degree of damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys from the adult worms and the microfilariae.
The most obvious signs are a soft, dry cough, shortness of breath, weakness, nervousness, listlessness, and loss of stamina. All of these signs are most noticeable following exercise, when some dogs may even faint.
Listening to the chest with a stethoscope will often reveal abnormal lung and heart sounds. In advanced cases, congestive heart failure may be apparent and the abdomen and legs will swell from fluid accumulation. There may also be evidence of weight loss, poor condition, and anemia.
Severely infected dogs may die suddenly during exercise or excitement.
Microfilariae (Young heartworms): Microfilariae circulate throughout the body but remain primarily in the small blood vessels. Because they are as wide as the small vessels, they may block blood flow in these vessels. The body cells being supplied by these vessels are deprived of the nutrients and oxygen normally supplied by the blood. The lungs and liver are primarily affected.
Destruction of lung tissue leads to coughing. Cirrhosis of the liver causes jaundice, anemia, and general weakness because this organ is essential in maintaining a healthy animal. The kidneys may also be affected and allow poisons to accumulate in the body.
How is heartworm infection diagnosed?
In most cases, diagnosis of heartworm disease can be made by a blood test that can be run in the veterinary hospital or by a veterinary laboratory. Further diagnostic procedures are essential to determine if the dog can tolerate heartworm treatment. Depending on the case, we will recommend some or all of the following procedures before treatment is started.
Serological test for antigens to adult heartworms: This is a test performed on a blood sample. It is the most widely used test because it detects antigens (proteins) produced by adult heartworms. It will be positive even if the dog does not have any microfilaria in the blood. This occurs in about 20% of the cases. Dogs with less than five adult heartworms will not have enough antigen to give a positive test result, so there may be an occasional false negative result in dogs with early infections. Because the detected antigen is only produced by the female heartworm, a population of only male heartworms will also give a false negative. Therefore, there must be at least five female worms present for the most common heartworm test to diagnose heartworm disease.
Blood test for microfilariae: A blood sample is examined under the microscope for the presence of microfilariae. If microfilariae are seen, the test is positive. The number of microfilariae seen gives us a general indication of the severity of the infection. However, the microfilariae are seen in greater numbers in the summer months and in the evening, so these variations must be considered. Approximately 20% of dogs do not test positive even though they have heartworms because of an acquired immunity to this stage of the heartworm. Because of this, the antigen test is the preferred test. Also, there is another blood parasite that is fairly common in dogs that can be hard to distinguish from heartworm microfilariae.
Blood chemistries: Complete blood counts and blood tests for kidney and liver function may give an indication of the presence of heartworm disease. These tests are also performed on dogs diagnosed as heartworm-infected to determine the function of the dog's organs prior to treatment.
Radiographs (X-rays): A radiograph of a dog with heartworms will usually show heart enlargement and swelling of the large artery leading to the lungs from the heart. These signs are considered presumptive evidence of heartworm disease. Radiographs may also reveal the condition of the heart, lungs, and vessels. This information allows us to predict an increased possibility of complications related to treatment.
Electrocardiogram: An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a tracing of the electric currents generated by the heart. It is most useful to determine the presence of abnormal heart rhythms.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. A spirochete is a type of bacterium. It is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the blood stream, the Lyme disease organism is carried to many parts of the body and is likely to localize in joints. It was first thought that only a few types of ticks could transmit this disease, but now it appears that several common species may be involved. The most common type of tick to carry Lyme disease is the Deer Tick.
Can Lyme disease also affect people?
Yes, but people do not get it directly from dogs. They get it from being bitten by the same ticks that transmit it to dogs. Therefore, preventing exposure to ticks is important for you and your dog.
What are the clinical signs?
Many people with Lyme disease develop a characteristic "bull's-eye" rash at the site of the bite within three to thirty days. For these people, the disease can be easily diagnosed at an early stage. However, symptoms of Lyme disease are more difficult to detect in animals than in people.
The characteristic rash does not develop in dogs or cats. Because the other symptoms of the disease may be delayed or go unrecognized and because the symptoms are similar to those of many other diseases, Lyme disease in animals is often not considered until other diseases have been eliminated.
Many dogs affected with Lyme disease are taken to a veterinarian because they seem to be experiencing generalized pain and have stopped eating. Affected dogs have been described as if they were "walking on eggshells." Often these pets have high fevers. Dogs may also begin limping. This painful lameness often appears suddenly and may shift from one leg to another. If untreated, it may eventually disappear, only to recur weeks or months later.
Some pets are affected with the Lyme disease organism for over a year before they finally show symptoms. By this time, the disease may be widespread throughout the body.
How is Lyme disease diagnosed?
Dogs with lameness, swollen joints, and fever are suspected of having Lyme disease. However, other diseases may also cause these symptoms. There are two blood tests that may be used for confirmation. The first is an antibody test. This test does not detect the actual spirochete in the blood but does detect the presence of antibodies created by exposure to the organism. A test can be falsely negative if the dog is infected but has not yet formed antibodies, or if it never forms enough antibodies to cause a positive reaction. This may occur in animals with suppressed immune systems. Some dogs that have been infected for long periods of time may no longer have enough antibodies present to be detected by the test. Therefore, a positive test is meaningful, but a negative is not.
The second test is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a DNA testthat is very specific and sensitive. However, not all dogs have the spirochete in their blood cells. If a blood sample is tested, a false negative may occur. The best sample for PCR testing is the fluid from an affected joint.
How is Lyme disease treated?
Because the Lyme spirochete is a bacterium, it can be controlled by antibiotics. However, a lengthy course of treatment is necessary to completely eradicate the organism. The initial antibiotic selected to treat an infected pet may not be effective against the disease, especially if the infection is long-standing. In this situation, changing to another antibiotic is often effective. Occasionally, the initial infection will recur, or the pet will become re-infected after being bitten by another infected tick.
How can I prevent my dog from getting Lyme disease?
The key to prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf, blade of grass, or short trees, especially Cedar trees. Here they wait until their sensors detect a close-by animal on which to crawl or drop. Keeping animals from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas.
How do I remove a tick from my dog?
Check your pet immediately after it has been in a tick-infected area. The Deer Tick is a small tick and only about pinhead size in juvenile stage, but a little more obvious in adult phase and after feeding. If you find a tick moving on your pet, the tick has not fed. Remove the tick promptly and place it in rubbing alcohol or crush it between two solid surfaces. If you find a tick attached to your pet, grasp the tick with fine tweezers or your finger nails near the dog's skin and firmly pull it straight out. You may need another person to help restrain your dog. Removing the tick quickly is important since the disease is not transmitted until the tick has fed for approximately twelve hours. If you crush the tick, do not get the tick?s contents, including blood, on your skin. The spirochete that causes Lyme disease can pass through a wound or cut in your skin.
Is there a vaccine that will protect my dog from Lyme disease?
A vaccine is now available for protecting dogs against Lyme disease. This vaccine is initially given twice, at two- to three-week intervals. Annual revaccination is also necessary to maintain immunity. The vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective. Some pets will receive the vaccine every two to three years based on the vaccine used, your pet?s lifestyle and individual risk assessment. Be sure to discuss any questions you may have regarding the type and frequency of vaccination with your veterinarian.
Tapeworms in Dogs
What are tapeworms?Tapeworms are flattened intestinal worms that are made up of many small segments, each about ¼ - ½ inch (3-5 mm) long. Unlike roundworms that live freely in the intestinal tract, tapeworms attach to the wall of the small intestine by hook-like mouthparts.
The most common tapeworm of dogs and cats is Dipylidium caninum. The adult worms may reach up to 8 inches (20 cm) in length. The individual segments are developed from the head end and gradually mature, finally being shed at the opposite end, either singly or in short chains. These segments are passed in the feces when the dog defecates. They are about 1/8 (3 mm) long and look like grains of rice or cucumber seeds. Occasionally they can be seen moving on the hairs around the anus or on freshly passed feces. As the tapeworm segment dries, it becomes a golden color and the fertilized eggs are released into the environment.
Unlike roundworms, dogs cannot become infected by eating fertilized tapeworm eggs. Tapeworms must first pass through an intermediate host, a flea, before they can infect a dog or cat.
How do dogs get tapeworms?When the infected eggs are released into the environment, they have to be swallowed by immature flea larvae in the environment. Once inside the larval stage of the flea, the tapeworm egg continues to develops into an infective tapeworm as the flea matures into an adult flea. During grooming or in response to a flea's bite, the dog can ingest the flea carrying the infective tapeworm and the life cycle is completed.
Are tapeworms dangerous for my dog? Tapeworms do not normally cause serious health problems in dogs. Occasionally dogs will drag their bottoms on the ground scooting in order to allay this irritation but this behavior can be for other reasons such as impacted anal sacs.
In puppies, heavy tapeworm infestation can be more serious. Lack of growth, anemia and intestinal blockage can occur. Occasionally, the head of the tapeworm or scolex detaches from the intestinal wall. The worm can then be passed either in the feces or vomited.
How is diagnosis made?Clinical diagnosis is usually made by observing the white mobile tapeworm segments in the feces or crawling around the anus. They often look like grains of rice.
Tapeworm segments are only passed intermittently and therefore are often not diagnosed on routine fecal examination. If you find any segments, white or golden color, bring these to us for a definitive diagnosis.
What is the treatment?With today's drugs, treatment is safe, simple and effective. The parasiticide may be given either in the form of tablets or by injection. It causes the parasite to dissolve in the intestines so you normally will not see tapeworms passed in the stool.
These drugs are very safe and should not cause vomiting or diarrhea or other adverse side effects.
Is there anything else I should do?Flea control is critical in the management and prevention of tapeworm infection. Flea control involves treatment of your dog and the environment. Your veterinarian can recommend safe and effective flea control for your pet. If your dog lives in a flea-infested environment, re-infection with tapeworms may occur in as little as two weeks. Since tapeworm medication is so effective, recurrent tapeworm infections are almost always due to re-infection from fleas and not failure of the product.
Can I get tapeworms from my dog?Contracting tapeworms from your dog is not common or likely. Dipylidium caninum, the most common tapeworm of the dog, depends on the flea as the intermediate host. A person must swallow an infected flea to become infected. A few cases of tapeworm infection have been reported in children. Vigorous flea control will also eliminate any risk of children in the environment becoming infected.
Although Dipylidium species are the most common tapeworms in dogs, other Cestodes are also important in certain areas.
Taenia species - These are tapeworms are acquired by eating prey or waste containing the infective larval stage. These are much larger tapeworms, often up to one yard (one meter) in length. Intermediate hosts include rodents, rabbits, hares and sheep. The intermediate stages develop hyadatid cysts in various organs. We have excellent treatment for Taenia infections in dogs.
Echinococcus species ? By contrast, these are very small tapeworms. They consist of only three or four segments and are usually less than 3/8? (1 cm) in length. Intermediate hosts can be sheep, horses and occasionally man. Infection is by ingesting eggs that have originated from the feces of dogs or foxes harboring the adult tapeworm. Fortunately de-worming preparations, particularly those containing praziquantel are effective for eliminating the Cestode from the dog.
Control measures to prevent tapeworm infection from Cestodes involve avoidance of uncooked or partially cooked meat or waste.
Understanding Your Pet's Diagnostic Testing
Understanding Your Pet?s Diagnostic Testing
These common blood tests allow veterinarians to assess your pet's overall health. Blood tests are often recommended in healthy pets, in pets about to undergo anesthesia and in sick pets. Interpretation of multiple tests in conjunction with one another (profiling) allows quick and noninvasive assessment of the major organ systems of the body.
BUN (blood urea nitrogen) increases may be seen with decreased kidney function, dehydration, heart disease, shock or urinary obstruction as well as following a high protein diet; decreases may be seen with overhydration
CREA (creatinine) increases may be seen with decreased kidney function and other conditions as noted with BUN, but is not affected by a recent high protein diet; decreases may be seen with overhydration
PHOS (phosphorus) elevations are seen with decreased kidney loss through conditions like kidney disease, increased intake through the gastrointestinal tract and increased release from injured tissues; increases in growing puppies and kittens can be normal; decreases may be seen with increased loss or decreased intake
Ca+ (calcium) increases may be seen as a result of a variety of diseases including kidneydisease, certain cancer types, certain toxicities and parathyroid disease; decreases may be seenwith certain parathyroid diseases and with low albumin
ALT (alanine aminotransferase) increases are a sensitive indicator of liver cell damage
ALKP (alkaline phosphatase) increases may indicate a liver abnormality (cholestasis), Cushing's disease, active bone growth in young pets, active bone remodeling after bone injury; may be induced by multiple drugs and nonspecific conditions
GGT (gamma glutamyl transferase) increases may indicate a certain type of liver abnormality (cholestasis)
ALB (albumin) increases may indicate dehydration; decreases may be seen with decreased liver function, blood loss, gastrointestinal disease or kidney disease
TBIL (total bilirubin) increases may be seen with liver disease (cholestasis and insufficiency) and certain types of anemia
Bile acids increases in this blood component may be an indication of decreased liver function, abnormalities in blood flow to the liver or possible bile duct obstruction
AMYL (amylase) increases may be seen with pancreatitis, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disease or certain drug treatments; degree of change and other laboratory data may help identify pancreatitis specifically
LIPA (lipase) increases may be seen with pancreatitis, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disease and certain drug treatments; degree of change and other laboratory data may help identify pancreatitis specifically
TP (total protein) increases may indicate dehydration or an inflammatory condition; decreasesmay be seen in decreased liver function, blood loss, gastrointestinal loss and kidney loss
ALB (albumin) increases may indicate dehydration; decreases may be seen with decreasedliver function, blood loss, gastrointestinal disease and kidney disease
GLOB (globulin) increases may be seen with inflammation and potential chronic infection; decreases may be seen with blood loss, gastrointestinal loss and immune deficiencies
Na+ (sodium) increases may indicate dehydration; decreases may be seen with loss during diarrhea and vomiting or with Addison's and kidney disease
K+ (potassium) increases may indicate kidney disease due to decreased excretion, with Addison's disease, dehydration and kidney obstruction; decreases may be seen with loss during diarrhea or vomiting
Cl- (chloride) increases may indicate dehydration; decreases may be seen with loss during diarrhea or vomiting
GLU (glucose) increases may indicate diabetes mellitus; decreases may be due to liver disease, pancreatic disease and other conditions and could lead to collapse, seizure or coma
AST (aspartate aminotransferase) increases are associated with liver or muscle damage
CK (creatine kinase) increases are associated with muscle damage
CHOL (cholesterol) increases may be seen with a variety of metabolic disturbances including diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, Cushing's disease, pancreatitis and some types of kidney disease; decreases may be seen with liver insufficiency and intestinal disease
TRIG (triglycerides) increases may be seen in a variety of conditions including non-fasted samples, in miniature schnauzers, and in patient's with pancreatitis, diabetes, Cushing's disease or hypothyroidism
Cortisol increases may be seen with Cushing's disease (measured in different protocols including ACTH stimulation and Dexamethasone suppression tests); decreases may be seen with Addison's disease
T4 (thyroxine) increases may indicate hyperthyroidism (primarily cats); decreases may indicate hypothyroidism (primarily dogs)
LACTATE increases indicate either local or general decreased blood perfusion and canpotentially serve as a prognostic indicator for the critical patient
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
This is a common test performed on pets to provide objective information about the general health status of an animal. The objective data obtained from a CBC can be helpful in monitoring ill patients undergoing therapy; therefore, serial CBC requests are common.
Red Blood Cell (RBC) Parameters
RBC (red blood cell count), HCT (hematocrit) and HGB (hemoglobin) increases in these parameters may support dehydration or a disease of increased production of RBCs; decreases indicate anemia and decreased oxygen-carrying capability of the blood
MCV (mean cell volume) increases indicate the presence of larger than normal cells, which may be related to young cells during response to an anemia; decreases indicate the presence of smaller than normal cells, which may be associated with chronic blood loss/iron deficiency
MCH (mean cell hemoglobin) and MCHC (mean cell hemoglobin concentration) increases suggest the presence of hemolysis or an interference in hemoglobin measurement; decreases suggest decreased hemoglobin concentration, which can be seen during response to anemia and chronic blood loss/iron deficiency
RDW (red cell distribution width) increases in this objective measure of variability of RBC size indicates increased variability in size that can aid the veterinarian in identifying the cause of an RBC problem
RETIC (reticulocytes) increases indicate growing numbers of immature RBCs, indicating a response to a peripheral demand for RBCs; decreases indicate few or no immature RBCs, indicating the body is unable to respond to a demand for RBCs (nonregenerative anemia)
White Blood Cell (WBC) Parameters
WBC (white blood cells) increases may be due to inflammation, stress, excitement and leukemia; decreases may be due to overwhelming inflammation and bone marrow failure
Leukocyte Differential Various patterns of change in numbers of NEU (neutrophils), LYM (lymphocytes), MONO (monocytes), EOS (eosinophils), and BASO (basophils) may be seen with different types of inflammation, stress, excitement and leukemia
NEU inflammatory cell associated with infectious and noninfectious disease processes
LYM immune cell highly responsive to stress and potentially increased during chronic infection
MONO inflammatory cell associated with repair of tissue injury
EOS inflammatory cell associated with parasitic disease, hypersensitivity and allergy
BASO inflammatory cell associated with parasitic disease, hypersensitivity and allergy
Platelet (PLT) Parameters
PLT (platelet) and PCT (platelet crit) increases in these parameters of overall platelet mass are potentially associated with hypercoagulable state; decreases may be seen with decreased production (bone marrow failure), increased consumption (coagulation, inflammation, etc.) and destruction in the blood (infectious, immune-mediated, etc.)
MPV (mean platelet volume) increases indicate presence of larger than normal plateletscommonly associated with response to need for platelets (not significant in the cat) PDW (platelet distribution width) increases in this objective measure of variability of platelet size indicates increased variability in size which may be an indicator of response to a need for platelets (not significant in the cat); decreases may be seen with immune-mediated thrombocytopenia
A urinalysis is performed on a urine sample and provides insight into kidney functions as well as the hydration status of the animal. This valuable test may also be helpful in diagnosing and monitoring various diseases and metabolic disturbances throughout the body.
Specific Gravity-determined by the kidney's ability to concentrate urine in response to the hydration status
pH-reflect the acid-base status if the animal is well-hydrated
PRO (protein) small amounts of protein may be normally found in urine, but larger amounts may indicate kidney disease
GLU (glucose) high levels are usually associated with an elevated blood glucose concentration
KET (ketones) elevated levels may indicate an increase in breakdown of lipids within the body
UBG (urobilinogen) abnormally high levels may indicate liver or hemolytic disease
BIL (bilirubin) abnormally high levels may indicate liver or hemolytic disease; in dogs (especially male dogs) bilirubinuria is common even under normal conditions; bilirubinuria in cats is significant
RBCs and Hemoglobin the test may be positive due to hematuria, hemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria; blood in the urine is often a sign of inflammation, infection and/or trauma
WBCs excessive numbers of WBC indicate inflammation somewhere in the urinary tract
UPC (urine protein:creatinine ratio) an important screening test for early kidney disease and to help monitor treatment of renal disease; increases may indicate significant protein loss through the kidney
Other Possible Tests
Canine/Feline Giardia test for a protozoan parasite that may inhabit the small intestine of dogs, cats, humans and most domesticated animals often causing diarrhea
Canine/Feline Heartworm test for deadly parasites that can live in the heart, major blood vessels and the lungs
Canine Tick-Borne Diseases tests for commonly seen and serious diseases transmitted by ticks including Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis
Canine Parvovirus test for one of the most common and severe gastrointestinal diseases in young dogs
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Viruses (FeLV) tests for two of the major causes of illness and death in cats
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