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Darcy can't stand to be dirty, so he bathes himself like a cat. I do doggie wipes when they're too out of control and usually nothing else in the winter.

 

During the summer, I line up all four and wash them assembly line with the hose. :rolleyes:

 

They don't enjoy the actual sudsing and rinsing part, but get a kick out of "air drying" (translation: running like mad around the yard and rolling in the grass to dry off)

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I guess I've been washing Gus at least once every two weeks. We've been spending a lot of time at local dog parks on weekends, and he seems to get quite a bit of dog slobber on him from other dogs. Boxers seem to love Gus for some reason and they are a real popular dog around me. He seems like he picks up a lot of their slobber. When I wash him, I use some puppy shampoo I picked up at Pet Smart.

I don't give Jack baths, but I wipe him down with a washcloth 3-4 times/week. He gets covered with slobber from the older dogs, and rolled around in the dust that is our back yard & horse riding area. He sleeps under the bed, so my allergies go nuts. He has a smooth coat, and teflon describes it well. 15 seconds with a wash cloth and he's clean.

 

We also have an Aussie pup who gets dirty. I use a wash cloth on him, but it takes longer and doesn't work nearly as well. He doesn't mind joining someone in the shower, but it is tough to dry him off well afterward. When he is clean, his soft fur sticks out and he truly is our 'lovable little fuzzball' - El Rustbo!

 

Dan the Pound Mutt would rather die than touch a drop of water with anything besides his tongue. He usually doesn't sleep in the bedroom, and his short hair acts a lot like the BC pup's...so it isn't TOO bad.

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Wait - you can wash them? :rolleyes:

 

Srsly - I find I have to bathe Violet occasionally and brush her, or she mats. She has a coat with the texture of cotton candy. Faith has the typical BC-Teflon coat and has only ever had one bath in her entire three years on the planet. I only gave her that one because she was a shelter pull and had been lying in urine and feces and stank like something dead.

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I bathe seek once in awhile. Usually every couple to few months.

 

I always use Oatmeal shampoo, and Tea Tree Oil Condition. These are the only things I can use on her skin type. The tea tree oil is very hydrating. I once didn't use these products and she itched for about a month and shedded like crazy... it was almost scary.

 

All in all, she never smells like a dog and plays in the creek on the trail we walk often. She hasn't had a bath in quite awhile and I don't plan on giving her one for at least another month or two.

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Id save the baby shampoo for yourself, and get the a shampoo made for dogs. Human Ph and dog Ph are vastly different and human shampoo can and will dry out the skin and coat. Try a mild detergent puppy shampoo. You'll find that dog shampoo rinses out easier and quicker too.

 

My vet told me to stay away from the dog shampoo's (says they are no good) and instead use people shampoo. Anyone one else heard this?

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My vet told me to stay away from the dog shampoo's (says they are no good) and instead use people shampoo. Anyone one else heard this?

 

No. The exact opposite. As Darci (the groomer :rolleyes: ) says, even gentle people shampoo's are not made for animal skin and will change the pH. Which can create a climate conducive to quimbies.

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Quimbies??? doG! I hope I have a shampoo in my arsenal to kill those! :D

Thanks though Sally, I wasnt about to start to try to refute some ones vet, even if it is not the correct advise they giving. :rolleyes:

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OK, so I did some Googling. I did this because the claim is often made that dog skin has a different pH than human skin and therefore human shampoo will harm dogs in some usually unspecified way, but facts are rarely given to back this claim up. It's not like I don't believe that it is possible, I just want to know exactly WHY human shampoo is supposedly so bad and no one ever seems to have a better explanation than "their skin has a different pH." But it is never specified how their pH is different, or whether it is different enough so that it would matter.

 

First of all, there seems to be an awful lot of disagreement on this subject amongst dog owners and groomers: Is human shampoo bad for dogs?

 

Skin pH seems to vary by breed: A sensitive skin to protect

 

I went and looked up the paper cited by the Royal Canin website and it looks to be one of the more complete reviews of the subject, although the take-away message still seems to be "dog pH is different from human pH but we don't really know if this matters."

 

Matousek and Campbell 2002

A comparative review of cutaneous pH

Veterinary Dermatology 13(6):293-300)

 

Abstract: The role cutaneous pH plays in the barrier function of the skin has been a matter of debate for over a century. Human skin pH is relatively acidic (4.0–4.9) compared with the skin of many animal species (Table 1).1–5 Most investigators believe that the acidity of human skin serves to protect it from invasion by micro-organisms.6,7 More recent findings show that pH also influences the permeability barrier of the skin and the normal keratinization process.8,9 Information regarding cutaneous pH in animals is sparse. The following is a literature review of the origins of cutaneous pH, and normal skin pH values in people and animals. In addition, this review summarizes possible roles of pH in normal and diseased skin.

 

Some highlights:

 

Table 1. Includes the average of reported cutaneous pH values for several mammalian species. 4,6,20,24,25,28–30,43–48 pH levels were measured using different techniques, and may not be directly comparable.

 

Human 4.8

Guinea pig 5.5

Goat 5.9

Pig 6.3

Horse 6.3

Cat 6.4

Monkey 6.4

Rat 6.5

Cattle 6.7

Rabbit 6.7

Dog 7.4

Sheep 8.1

 

Human

In general, human skin pH is more acidic than the skin of other mammalian species.4,25 The reported range for normal human skin varies from an acidic pH of 3.0 to an almost neutral pH of 6.5.4,20,24,28–30 A range of 4.0–4.9 is most common.1–3

 

[...]

 

Canine

Canine skin pH differs from human skin, and tends to be the highest of the mammalian species.25 Reports of normal canine pH have ranged from 4.84 to 9.95.25,43–45 Although many investigators indicate that the most common pH range for canine skin is 5.5–7.2, it may actually be higher. In a study by Ruedisueli et al.45 the mean pH on the flanks of dogs was 7.48. The authors have also observed a higher cutaneous pH range on the dorsal thoracolumbar area of dogs (6.4–9.1).46

 

Previous researchers have not identified a significant association between gender and skin pH in dogs43 but Ruedisueli et al.45 reported that the cutaneous pH of males was higher than females. In addition, the skin of neutered female dogs was higher than that of intact females.45 There is a significant difference in mean pH related to dog breeds: Labrador Retriever (7.13), Miniature Schnauzer (7.25), Springer Spaniel (6.65), and Yorkshire Terrier (7.71) dogs.45 As in people, the pH levels from different anatomic sites in dogs are significantly different.45

 

Meyer et al.43 reported that excitement in dogs can lead to elevations in cutaneous pH levels. The pH range in unexcited dogs was 4.84–7.70, whereas that in excited dogs was 6.60–9.95. They proposed that the elevation was due to increased apocrine gland secretion. This would be consistent with Roy's study in which dogs with hyperhidrosis (apocrine) had a more alkaline pH than normal dogs, with a pH range of 8.2–9.0.44.

 

The authors cover a number of different functions of skin pH, including potential antimicrobial properties. I have bolded some sentences for emphasis.

 

FUNCTIONS OF CUTANEOUS pH

As stated previously, the role cutaneous pH plays in the epidermal barrier has not been fully defined. Functions of the epidermis can be accomplished through several different mechanisms. For example, protection from invasion by micro-organisms is controlled by microbial desiccation, competition with resident microbiota, and an acidic pH. It can be difficult to evaluate these effects independent of one another.

 

[...]

 

 

[...] These investigations [of the antimicrobial properties of skin pH] were interesting for several reasons. First, they demonstrated that cutaneous pH plays a role in controlling bacterial populations on the skin surface. The extent of the effect of cutaneous pH on the skin microbiota of other mammals has yet to be determined. It is possible that in mammals with alkaline skin pH levels (e.g. dogs), the pH may not play as much of a role in controlling cutaneous bacteria and yeast populations as it does in those with acidic skin (e.g. humans). Second, they showed that the growth of various species of micro-organisms is affected differently by alterations of pH. In humans, whose normal skin pH ranges from 3.0 to 6.5, the carriage of staphylococal species was not significantly altered by pH changes of 5.5–7.0. It is possible that more extreme changes in cutaneous pH are needed to alter the carriage of staphylococcal species. The cutaneous pH of dogs is higher (4.84–9.95) than that of people, so the cutaneous pH of dogs would probably need to be decreased significantly to affect the growth of S. intermedius. Third, they [previous studies] proved that topical products could change both the pH and the microbiota of the skin. Unfortunately, similar studies have not been performed in dogs. In a study evaluating the effects of four acidifying sprays (pH 2.2–3.0), vinegar (pH 2.7) and water (pH 5.7) on canine cutaneous pH, the acidifying sprays led to a decrease in skin pH from a mean of 7.55 (range 6.3–9.0) to < 6.0 for a mean duration of 50–65 h, while the vinegar did so for 12 h.46 This study demonstrated that canine skin pH can be decreased with the use of acidifying topical products, but did not evaluate the effect that this may have on cutaneous microbiota. More investigations are needed to determine if changes in canine skin pH will lead to alterations in cutaneous carriage of bacteria and yeast. Concern has been expressed that the low pH of topical acidifying products may cause cutaneous irritation. Although many shampoos and conditioners for people are manufactured to be 'pH-balanced', studies evaluating the irritancy of acidifying topical products are conflicting. For the most part, investigators have shown that the ingredients of the topical product are more likely to be the cause of irritation than the pH of the product.58–62

 

The conclusion of the paper:

 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, it is clear that cutaneous pH values differ among animals and people. Although debate still exists over the significance of cutaneous pH, there is evidence for its roles in the normal keratinization process and barrier functions of the skin. In addition, alterations in cutaneous pH may occur as a result of a cutaneous disorder, or may predispose the skin to disease. Future studies should help further define the role of cutaneous pH in animals and people.

 

So it sounds like there is documentation that skin pH varies between species, but not much consensus about what significance this has, and like the jury is still out as to whether or not human shampoo is "bad" for dogs. I think it is pretty safe to use human shampoo on dogs without worrying about inflicting major damage. Human shampoo brands apparently vary quite a bit in pH, so if one brand dries your dog out another probably won't.

 

I rarely wash my dogs, so I don't think it's going to kill them if I use Nexxus to do it.

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Also note that the ranges of recorded pH overlap quite a bit for humans and dogs, although the means are different.

 

There's an awful lot of variation among humans regarding skin condition (sensitive, oily, dry, etc.) and the same skin and hair care products don't work for everyone. My skin isn't very sensitive, and I can use all sorts of stuff that makes my mother break out in a rash. It appears that the pH of dog skin varies quite a bit among individuals as well, and so what works for one dog probably doesn't work for another. It seems simplistic to say "dogs have different pH and human shampoo is bad for them." My guess is that there are some dogs with low pH that human shampoo would actually be better for.

 

I guess it boils down to knowing your dog(s).

 

Heck, I used to only use horse shampoo on my dogs, because it is WAY cheaper than dog shampoo and rinses out a lot more easily (because who wants to stand there hosing a horse down for an hour?). And the dogs were fine, and that was back when I lived in the city, the dogs got city grimy, and I washed them more than I wash them now.

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For what its worth:

 

It may be convenient to share your shampoo with your dog, but it’s not the" best thing" for them. Human shampoo, which is pH-balanced for people but not for dogs, "can dry out and damage your dogs coat and skin." The resulting itchiness - aside from making your dog miserable - "could cause them to scratch and chew thier skin to the point of irritating and abrading it, which can set the stage for secondary bacterial or yeast infections."

I guess for my clients and thier dogs, as well as my own, I just wouldnt want to take that chance.

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I didn't know where the quotes you cite were from, so I Googled them and got this link:

 

http://henrysbackyard.com/blog1/category/blog/healthy-pups/

 

It quotes a letter and response written to Dog Fancy. I don't know what section it's from, but my guess is it's from an "Ask the Vet" column or the like. Which is great, I think vets know more about dog care than I do, but given how skeptical the membership here tends to be about claims made by one vet or another (search for "raw diet" for examples) I was looking for bigger guns than that.

 

Again, the claim of possible harm is repeated in the Dog Fancy excerpt, but without any explanation other than the "pH balanced for humans and not dogs" bit. Which is fine -- I totally get that you can adjust a product to match the mean (note, I said the MEAN) pH of one species vs. another, but without any explanation of the mechanism by which the purported dire results will occur. Judging from the Matousek and Campbell article, the situation is not as well-understood as people commonly make it sound.

 

Even if a given product is adjusted for the mean pH of dogs, there is enough variation around that mean such that many dog shampoos would fall into the category of "not pH balanced" for a particular dog. Human skin pH ranges from 3.0 to 6.5, and dog skin pH ranges from 4.84 to 9.95. Therefore, I find it difficult to accept the argument that dog shampoo is "safe" for all dogs, while all human shampoo is verboten. If my dog happens to have a pH that's on the low side for dogs, then I could argue that my shampoo might be much better for him pH-wise than dog shampoo, using the pH argument.

 

It would not surprise me if human shampoos typically contain exotic ingredients that may cause allergic reactions in some dogs. (But, I once had a horrible allergic reaction to a dandruff shampoo I used during an unfounded ringworm scare -- the doctor almost put me on prednisone. But I used the same shampoo on my ex-Papillon, and he had no reactions of any kind.) Such ingredients might not be in most dog shampoos simply because it would make those dog shampoos so expensive that people wouldn't buy them (although in my experience dog shampoos can be quite pricey). And if I groomed dogs for a living I would probably be more wary about what products I use, lest I induce an unfortunate reaction in a client's dog, so I get where you're coming from with that.

 

But, the whole "human shampoo is bad for dogs because of pH" thing sounds like it's a bit of a turkey, and I think enough folks wash their dogs with human shampoo to prove that human shampoo does not inevitably lead to scratching, irritation, abrasion, or infections.

 

I like facts.

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not often, when I do its usually just because I feel like it, they have very very very rarley ever NEEDED a bath. typically they only need one after they have been swimming in the creek and thats just because..well take one whif of our creek and you would know why lol. the non BC's are bathed much more frequently, Electra and Ladybug mostly they need baths every 2 months or so.

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Melanie, It appears you are looking for more than facts, and are looking to try to some how prove or refute my simple and harmless statement wrong that was made with the best of intentions and with the best of interest to readers and thier pets, some how, for what ever your reasons. Im not into that type of discussion, and will pick my battles on things more meaningful. I will say, my "facts" come from 27 years of experience grooming many different breeds and mixes of dogs daily, and seeing first hand the problems that come across my table and into my shop, some so bad they have to be referred to a vet that can and do arise from folks using human grade shampoo on their dogs. My facts dont come from researching others hard work that have been posted on the internet, they come from years of daily experience and exposure that span 27 years handling dogs daily, afflicted with many different types of skin and coat problems created or manifested for many different reasons, the most prevalent one being folks using human grade shampoo over the course of time on thier dogs.. . Use what you want, it makes no difference to me. I know what I know because of what Ive seen and experienced over the years. When you have had the experience over the years that I have had seeing dogs coats and skin being damaged compromised and injured, then I would see you as a worthy adversary to argue with. Until then, Im done, and I wont join you in trying to turn this thread into some kind of a pedestal to show off your ailities to Google.

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Darci, I am not sure I understand your reaction, nor do I appreciate the snide remarks. I don't doubt your experience, but it is anecdotal evidence, as is mine. I have successfully washed all five of the dogs I've owned using human shampoo, sometimes frequently, with no adverse effects. The Yahoo answers page I found quoted at least one groomer who says she uses human shampoo on her clients' dogs and that it works fine, and the disagreement among vets about this also highlights the fact that anecdotal evidence is exactly what it is, no more, no less.

 

What I wanted to know is:

 

(1) Do dogs and humans in fact have different pH? Has this actually been measured? (Answer, yes with variation, and yes.)

(2) Do these differences in pH have any sort of functional significance? (Answer, apparently so.)

(3) Do shampoos significantly change skin pH, and are skin problems actually shown to be associated with any changes in pH? (Answer, jury's still out on that one.)

(3) If the differences in pH do in fact make a difference regarding skin health, what mechanism underlies this?

 

In other words, I wanted to know WHY, and to find an explanation, not just a description of events that were observed by you or by others. This is not a personal indictment, it is an impersonal query. I am really not sure why you're so offended. I'm not offended by the fact that your experience is different from mine, why would I be? So why are you offended when I do research instead of just accepting what you've told me? I accept what you've told me about your experience, but it didn't answer my question.

 

If I am going to put a scientist hat on, I will say that no one can draw any conclusions based solely on yours or my experience. You have no doubt seen many, many cases of bad skin and coat, but can you prove that they are due to use of human shampoo and not due to some other factor? Probably not, because it's not a controlled situation and you don't have information about everything else going on in those dogs' lives. Likewise, that other groomer who said her clients' dogs are all bathed with human shampoo and are fine may just be lucky, or maybe the dogs are being harmed but her customers don't complain, or maybe she uses something else on the dogs that mitigates the effects. We don't know. It could be that my dogs all happen to be on the low end of the pH scale for dogs and that I favor shampoos on the high end of the scale for humans and that's why we haven't had any problems (since the ranges overlap), and that if I switched shampoos we would have problems. I don't know. I'm not a chemist and have spent very little time in my life thinking about pH, but certainly there are folks out there who have and who have actually done research into these questions. I wanted to know if the pH claims were based on... something. The value of scientific studies is that typically the environment is controlled, so that you can test specific hypotheses and uncover explanations for, not just descriptions of, phenomena. I was wondering if anyone was aware of research that I was not aware of on this topic. "Everyone says" doesn't count for that kind of thing.

 

I don't expect you to just unquestioningly accept anything I write and I certainly wouldn't be offended by your lack of acceptance, so I have literally no idea why you are offended now. Should I really just agree with anything anyone here says, just to be polite?

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I didn't know where the quotes you cite were from, so I Googled them and got this link:

 

http://henrysbackyard.com/blog1/category/blog/healthy-pups/

 

It quotes a letter and response written to Dog Fancy. I don't know what section it's from, but my guess is it's from an "Ask the Vet" column or the like. Which is great, I think vets know more about dog care than I do, but given how skeptical the membership here tends to be about claims made by one vet or another (search for "raw diet" for examples) I was looking for bigger guns than that.

 

Again, the claim of possible harm is repeated in the Dog Fancy excerpt, but without any explanation other than the "pH balanced for humans and not dogs" bit. Which is fine -- I totally get that you can adjust a product to match the mean (note, I said the MEAN) pH of one species vs. another, but without any explanation of the mechanism by which the purported dire results will occur. Judging from the Matousek and Campbell article, the situation is not as well-understood as people commonly make it sound.

 

Even if a given product is adjusted for the mean pH of dogs, there is enough variation around that mean such that many dog shampoos would fall into the category of "not pH balanced" for a particular dog. Human skin pH ranges from 3.0 to 6.5, and dog skin pH ranges from 4.84 to 9.95. Therefore, I find it difficult to accept the argument that dog shampoo is "safe" for all dogs, while all human shampoo is verboten. If my dog happens to have a pH that's on the low side for dogs, then I could argue that my shampoo might be much better for him pH-wise than dog shampoo, using the pH argument.

 

It would not surprise me if human shampoos typically contain exotic ingredients that may cause allergic reactions in some dogs. (But, I once had a horrible allergic reaction to a dandruff shampoo I used during an unfounded ringworm scare -- the doctor almost put me on prednisone. But I used the same shampoo on my ex-Papillon, and he had no reactions of any kind.) Such ingredients might not be in most dog shampoos simply because it would make those dog shampoos so expensive that people wouldn't buy them (although in my experience dog shampoos can be quite pricey). And if I groomed dogs for a living I would probably be more wary about what products I use, lest I induce an unfortunate reaction in a client's dog, so I get where you're coming from with that.

 

But, the whole "human shampoo is bad for dogs because of pH" thing sounds like it's a bit of a turkey, and I think enough folks wash their dogs with human shampoo to prove that human shampoo does not inevitably lead to scratching, irritation, abrasion, or infections.

 

I like facts.

I think human shampoo dries out the dog's skin. I doubt it would really hurt them as long as you kept it out of their eyes.

 

I never bathe my border collies. Ellie is 10 and has never had a bath. My puppy is mostly white so you would think she would get filthy but she doesn't. She gets muddy and the mud just falls off and she is clean again. I can't remember ever giving one of my border collies a bath.

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An occasional bath doesn't hurt. I use PH balanced puppy or dog shampoos or baby shampoo which my vet says is OK. Mookie has to have a bath every couple of months otherwise she stinks. BC's learn to love wter and bathing. During the summer maybe once a month to keep the wet dog smell out from daily water play. during the winter. Once or as needed in a warm bathroom with lots of towels.

 

Jim is 3 months old today and got his first bath. Now I have a clean fuzzy puppy. There was a lot of dirt on him to my surprise.

FirstBath1.jpg

FirstBath2.jpg

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I havent washed Mia yet - and Ben I washed him last Jan I think - and that was only cos the OH saw him mucky and decided he needed a bath

Usualy if the dogs get mucky on a walk I just clip the leads on and walk them round the block and all the mud falls off, dry them off with a towel and they take care of the rest

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Your male - Jin or Jim?? Boy is he cute. Love the pictures. I have never had a puppy - they are sooooo cute. He is especially cute :rolleyes:

 

 

Jin although with that one blue eye we also call him the Blue Djinn like in stories from 1001 Arabian Nights.

 

 

In Chinese the Jin dynasty was from 420-280 AD. Translated it means gold or precious metal.

In Korean it means precious.

Japanese Jin is a proper noun.

In Arabic a Djinn is a genie as in Genie in the lamp or Genie with the light brown hair. You know. phenomenal cosmic powers, itty bitty living space.

In English it's Gin an alcoholic beverage mad from Juniper berries.

 

Those are all the definitions I found for Jin. How did I pick his name? I didn't. He came to us with the name Harvey but when I saw him the first time he told me his name was Jin. Every dog has three names. The one you give him, one he tells you and one told to no one.

 

One day you shall have to get a puppy. It's a truly unique experience.

 

A box of puppies is even more fun.

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My crew gets bathed when they role in something funky or if we are going to visit my parents. I will admit that I usually use Dawn dishwashing detergent which, despite being pH balanced for china and glassware, doesn't seem to cause any irritation at the totally erratic infrequency with which it is used. If I'm already showering, a particularly nasty pup may get bathed with Sunsilk shampoo and indulged with a little Sunsilk conditioner as well. Outside of special occasions, they get chunked in the sound or the pond - the pH of both being totally uncontrolled. :rolleyes:

Lisa

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My crew gets bathed when they role in something funky or if we are going to visit my parents. I will admit that I usually use Dawn dishwashing detergent which, despite being pH balanced for china and glassware, doesn't seem to cause any irritation at the totally erratic infrequency with which it is used.

 

That is what our last couple of vets use on young kittens and puppies with fleas. Our shelter actually washes all of the puppies and kittens with it now when they first come in. They just use plain Dawn.

 

I admit, I have one of frou-frou doggy shampoos that we almost never use because we almost never bathe the dog. I like the smell though. =P

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