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End stages of Kidney Failure
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End stages of Kidney Failure

Hi Everyone..... This is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to deal with. My beloved Gypsy is dying of kidney failure. Gypsy is a Jack Russell Terrier and she turned 18...yes 18...on Christmas Day.

It's just so hard to know when it is "time." I prayed and prayed that she would give us one final parting gift and die on her own in her sleep...but she is SUCH a fighter and refused to surrender to this thing. We keep her comfortabel with sub-q infusions daily, Calcitriol, Aluminum hydroxide and novox. One day she seems bad and then the next day she is up and climbing a full flight of stairs and getting on the sofa by herself! Other days she can barely stand.

She sleep most of the time but today she has been shivering almost uncontrollably. I finally wrapped her in a warm blanket and held her for a while and she stopped shivering...she is asleep now.  This is GUT WRENCHING. I know that you are all thinking that "OMG...she is 18...she's had a long life...put her down" but if you knew Gypsy... well she was spry as can be until she had to have surgery in November for a tooth abcess (abscess)... She was under anesthesia way too long and developed acute pancreatitis (she also came back almost blind because the stupid vet didn't moisurize her eyes and she developed corneal ulcers)...She recovered from that (still can barely see) but then her kidneys started failing and haven't improved since.

She is skinny as a rail now....will only eat a bite or two occasionally (I supplement with Nutrical).. I read about how people look into their dogs eyes and "know." That hasn't been the case with me yet. I look into her cloudy eyes and just see a fighter who only wants to be with me.

My question.....How do you KNOW when it is time? AND, is there ANY chance she will just fall asleep and not wake up...or is everything I'm doing for her (infusions, etc) stopping that from happening?

Please help me....
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441382_tn?1329196690
That's how it was with my Katie.   I kept hoping she would just go to sleep one night and not wake up, but she was stuck to me like glue and one morning she jumped up from laying down and came and stood by me.  I asked her what was up, like I always did, and when I looked into her eyes I just knew.  Hoping I was wrong, I asked "wanna cookie?" and got absolutely NO response.  I knew.  My husband was shopping in town and I grabbed my cell and called his cell and said "hurry up and get home, Kate's dying."  He got home and she was laying on the floor with me and her poor nose and her lips were very cold.  We called the vet to come out to help her go, but while he was on the phone with the vet she licked my hand, I told her she was the bestest girlie that ever lived, and then she died.  I'm crying all over again writing this.  I miss her SO MUCH every day!  I can't seem to get over her.  I had NEVER been so attached to a dog and even though I knew she could not have beaten it, it still doesn't help.  But you will know.  You will know beyond a shadow of a doubt.  I don't know how to tell you that you'll know, but you will.

Ghilly
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1989182_tn?1327020316
its never an easy choice, i worked in a clinic and i saw many people faced with what you are faced with now... i have also had to make the choice with my own pets.. i had a cat who was dying of kidney failure... i didnt know what the right time was either even though animal medicine was my feild... but after a lot of soul searching i decided that when his suffering out wieghed his quality of life then it was time to go.. unfortunatly there is nothing much you can do in animals with late stage kidney failure... and it can be quite uncomfortable to have, it causes pain and nausea. because the blood is becomein g toxic to the body. there is always the chance that she will die in her sleep, she will die adventualy no matter what you do... the question (and i dont mean to sound cruel) the question is whats best for her. not what best for you, its hard but you have to really look at her with all the love in your heart , and ask is her life mostly suffering or does it still have an exceptable amount of pleasure... when the situation is terminal i usealy let go when they no longer eat, aniimals cant tell you how they feel but i think not eating is a good indicator... im so sorrry for you, its so hard everytime.. i just hope that i didnt come across to cold
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1832268_tn?1326819610
I am sorry to hear about your dog.
To answer your question about whether or not the supportive measures you are giving your dog, will stop her from dying in her sleep, the answer is no.
The things you are doing, are merely supportive, they only make her feel more comfortable.
Eventually as the kidneys start to shut down...the toxins will build up in her system. These toxins will make her more nauseated, she will vomit more, may have more diarrhea, her breath will start to smell very bad, she may start to stagger, shiver, or tremble. She might act confused or disoriented. She may develop mouth ulcers, and also ulcers of the G.I. tract..you may see blood in her stools. She will become more lethargic, and want to sleep for many hours. She will start to urinate less. She may have seizures, or she may go into a coma, and die peacefully.  We would all want them to die peacefully in their sleep, but this is not always the case.
I have read many peoples posts on kidney failure in their dogs. Most people say that when their dog stops eating, The time is near.
Watch for increasing signs and symptoms.
I pray that she will go peacefully in her sleep, but if this is not the case, I am sure you will know when it is time to let her go.
My heart goes out to you.... ( My lovely little yorkie..TwoBits had kidney failure. I sure do miss her.)
Give your dog lots of hugs and kisses, and tell her she is the best dog in the world.
Connie
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1916673_tn?1388595391
Oh my, I am so sorry. Reading your post and the subsequent posts from Ghilly, hyenakiss and Connie had tears rolling down my eyes (again). I lost my beautiful lurcher BB to this devastating illness in late November. It is heartwrenching to hear what you are going through, particularly as it brings what happened to BB and our 'family' all back. I can tell you that kidney disease can fool you into thinking things are ok for a while, as there are good and bad days, but sadly the bad days become more common and eventually there are only bad days with no good ones. I would agree with what others have said, once a dog stops eating completely, the time is very close (probably two or three days at most).

And although it might be hard to believe, but yes, somehow our best friends do tell us when they want to go. Heaven knows, it's the worst thing to see in a dog's eyes, but that's what my girl did - it was a look I would never want to see in a dog ever again. Utterly heartbreaking. And when your Gypsy gives you that look, you will know she wants you to help her to go. My heart goes out to you and your girl ... I just wish there was something more positive I could say to ease the pain. Big hugs, Tony
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hi we lost our gorgeous yorkie in march ,mia was her name she was 12 2 wk before ,she ,was playing 48 hrs before the end ,but it was horrendous ,she had 4 seizures in 48 hrs 2 mild 2 very bad ,the last one was it ,and i still didnt want to take her to the vets ,but i stroked her head and all of her scull was moving and her jaw started clicking ,it broke our hearts on hind site we should have took her when she had her first ,to let go ,but the vet gave her some tablets hopefully to stop the seizures but it didnt help,she was such a poorly girl and we will miss her forever ,and little milly who is 11 misses her 2 ,but you will know the right time it wont be easy ,but please think about your girl and not what you want bless you both
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Avatar_m_tn
hi we lost our gorgeous yorkie in march ,mia was her name she was 12 2 wk before ,she ,was playing 48 hrs before the end ,but it was horrendous ,she had 4 seizures in 48 hrs 2 mild 2 very bad ,the last one was it ,and i still didnt want to take her to the vets ,but i stroked her head and all of her scull was moving and her jaw started clicking ,it broke our hearts on hind site we should have took her when she had her first ,to let go ,but the vet gave her some tablets hopefully to stop the seizures but it didnt help,she was such a poorly girl and we will miss her forever ,and little milly who is 11 misses her 2 ,but you will know the right time it wont be easy ,but please think about your girl and not what you want bless you both
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Avatar_m_tn
I am going thru this tonight, Sadie is in final stages, throwing up, diarrhea, but still wags her tail when I come home, so happy to see me.  She loves sleeping with me, I pray every night God will take her peacefully, but not yet, I'm putting in a call to the vets now to see if its time, if I can stop crying long enough.  I hate kidney failure.
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Avatar_m_tn
Guys, i am sitting in my office reading all your heart wrenchign experiances and i just want go back home to my Jerry boy... a month  back he was al normal and suddenly in the last wek or so stopped eating..,. he lost weight gradually in about 4-6 months and developed a lump near his ribs.. the doc said this could be a lymph node welling and not malignant...
Yesterday we had his blood tests done and and his creatine is 14 way high.. which mean sign of ill functionaing kidneys... its been 3-4 days since he has been lethargic , sleeping al the itme.. rarely peeing... not passing stool except for watery droplet here and there and not eating at all..i dont know if its the right time or not.. a dog whose only motive in life was eat eat and eat.. the scooby doo kinds.. i cant watch him sinking like this... he is a 11yr old pariah and i know for a fact that dialysis and treatment like that would only delay the inevitable.. which in a dig s life span would be a couple of months of suffering.. i dont want to see him sufer.. i am a strong guy.. who doesnt cry.. but a tear just roled down my eye and type this
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goining thru this now..just lost my rescue dog.she passed in her sleep..I just pray Titus goes same way..throwing uo...little blood in stool today..my heart is breaking
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Hi Weedogsmum,
I know it will be difficult for you to write about your dog, but, could you
Tell me more about Titus. Do you know what stage he is in...?
Is he eating a kidney friendly diet...? Do you have him on any medications?
Tell me about your rescue dog...did she also die from kidney failure..?  How long ago?
I am so very sorry. My heart hurts for you. It is so difficult to watch our loved ones leave us. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy.
My thoughts are with you ,
Connie
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I just lost my dog yesterday to kidney failure I'm so heartbroken it was awful! Constant puking, not eating, I'm so sad I don't know what to do :(
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Hi Donna5928,
I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how much you are hurting right now. I know that you are like most of the rest of us in this dog community. We love our dogs, they are part of our family. When they die, it is a huge loss.
True love is a bond with something, it has no boundaries, it is not something that is exclusive to humans. I feel bad for both the animals, and the people in this world who never experience that.
I wish I had some good advice to help you overcome your grief, but the truth is...you just need to allow yourself to grieve...know it's ok....and never feel the need to have to explain yourself to people who don't understand what you are feeling.  
It has been 2 years since I had my Twobits euthanized.(Because of kidney failure)  I still grieve for her. It took me a very long time to get past crying all day long.  Grief is a long road to walk. It will take time. Others can walk it with us, but no one can walk it for us.
Now, speaking of walking....you may find it helpful, to go to your local shelter, and volunteer to walk dogs. The exercise and the doggy companionship, will help you relieve some of your stress. (and the dogs)  It is something nice you can do for yourself, and at the same time honor your beloved dog, by helping one of her own kind.  In a strange way, it may help you feel connected to the dog you have lost. ( I have done it in the past, and it helped me. )  If you don't have a shelter, perhaps you have a neighbor or friend who would let you walk their dog?   Give it a try.
I wish I could be of more help, if you need someone to talk to, you know where to find me...!  
My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy.
Connie

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vihsyaj.....I just read your post.....how are you doing...?
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My heart hurts tonight as I read your stories. Thank you for sharing... It helps. I learned last week that my beautiful, loving shar-pei , Richie is in palliative condition for kidney failure. I pray he stays comfortable until it's his time... I hope he goes peacefully, at home.
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My heart hurts tonight as I read your stories. Thank you for sharing... It helps. I learned last week that my beautiful, loving shar-pei , Richie is in palliative condition for kidney failure. I pray he stays comfortable until it's his time... I hope he goes peacefully, at home.
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I am so sorry for all of you and understand your pain.  My 11-year-old Bailey has been diagnosed with kidney failure.  She started a few months ago with a UTI and protein in her urine that continued to elevate.  Now her BUN and creatinine are elevated and she just recently became symptomatic.  My husband and I are having such a difficult time.  As a lot of you share, we are giving her SQ fluids and her appetite has severely declined over the past week.  We, too, don't know if she is currently suffering and do not want to be selfish in just keeping her alive for our sake.  Our vet was blunt earlier in the week stating she probably has weeks to a month to live.  We love her so much!!  This is gut wrenching.  Thanks to all of you and this blog.  We are not alone.
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Hi, we are in a similar situation with our Bearded Collie, Shana. She has Congestive Heart Failure and is now in Kidney failure. She is 16 and has had 4 litters in her life but like Gypsie, she is a fighter. However, we were up all last night with her as she had diarrhoea and was very distressed all night. She is now sleeping soundly. She can't stand up since yesterday and I was thinking like you but after communicating with a lovely vet on 'Just ask', I agree with him that it would be kinder to end her suffering. Shana was also doing pretty well until last October when she had an anaesthetic to remove a polyp from her womb. She bled a lot afterwards and has never been quite the same since.
We are most likely taking her to the vet tomorrow to end her suffering. So sad. I wish you all the best with Gypsy. Anna
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Hello. I think you have arrived at the right decision regarding Shana, sorry to say. She is an elderly dog and things are likely to deteriorate rapidly, which means she will be suffering as time goes on (when I say time, I mean days or possibly weeks, but not months).

It is a heart wrenching decision to make, and only you can make it. You know your dog better than anyone else. Most people don't think dogs can communicate their feelings, but I totally disagree with this, because they talk to us with their eyes. When Shana gives you 'that look', you will know, even though it will break your heart to recognize it.

My heart goes out to you. If tomorrow is the day ... then so be it. Shana would thank you, if she could, for being so brave and for taking her suffering away. You are in my thoughts. Tony
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Beautifully written! I lost my beautiful Husky last month to other reasons but I am here as I am watching my snowy, an American Eskimo, who I rescued last year (now 13 1/2). This pain is so real. I do not want her to really suffer. She has licked the fur off of her legs. I just bought her a little girls long-sleeved crop top cotton hoodie to cover her front legs. I have put coconut oil on them to relieve the itching as she cannot get to them. I also put it on the inside of the one ear that bothers her. I learned to use this from my chiropractor. (I am a chronic Lyme patient and and have dry skin issues.) her tremors and shaking has gotten really bad and that worries me.

She has not had seizures or the vomiting. I do not know about the stools as it is hard for me to go outside due to my disabilities. However, I would know as she would have diarrhea on her hairy hind end. She has started to be unsteady on her legs. I had to make the difficult decision last month with my 13 year old Gus and know I will have to with this precious little one. She sleeps closer and closer to me every night.

All the posts here are making me cry. My heart goes out to each and every parent here!
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I lost my very first dog, the dog I grew up with from age 8 to 24, from kidney failure. He was 16 when he died. It was only 3 1/2 months from diagnosis until when I took him to be euthanized. That was back in 1980. He was a happy boy until the end. He just stopped eating and drinking. I took him for his last walk before taking him to the vet. I could not stop crying for so long. My hormones were crazy as I was a month and a half from giving birth to my first born. He was a colicky baby so I decided that if i was going to be up with my son, it was time to get our first "new family" dog. As it turned out, Brady was born the same day as my son! Brady helped ease the loss of Kutzi (Kutya in Hungarian means "dog".). It was a new beginning for this new young family but no dog could replace my beloved companion!
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1916673_tn?1388595391
Hi. I am sorry your best friend is going through this. I think it is wonderful that you gave an older dog a chance at some happiness, and I guess you probably did so knowing you may not have a huge amount of time with Snowy. You don't mention what Snowy is suffering from? The licking and itching could be so many things and I don't want to second-guess an inappropriate response. Perhaps you would tell us. Tony
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I feel for all of you.  To the person inquiring about the itchiness- in humans when your blood phosphorus is high, itchiness is a symptom ang with the shaking/tremors.  My dog suddenly staryed rubbing her chin in her paws a few days ago, desperately.  And her ears are red.  Have been using oil of oregano pet ear drops and Melissa's aloe for pets.

  Right now I am staying up with my beloved Lulu, a 14.5 year old Staffordshire Terreir and my best friend.  She is the sweetest, funniest and adoring dog I have ever known.  She was diagnosed with stage 3 in November,  most likely due to daily use of metacam for arthritis.
I started cooking for her and giving her supplements and she was doing well until this afternoon.
All of a sudden she was twitching more in the face and front paws and looked dopey, hard to stay focused.  But she ate all her food and went to the washroom normally.
She is fighting a UTI too right now though and having some accidents.
Before bed I gave her some blueberries and then as a special treat, popcorn.  She really wanted the popcorn but she seemed like she was having trouble staying awake to eat it.
Then I took her outside to the washroom and when I brought her in she collapsed from a bad seizure.
She has been sleeping since and only opened her eyes a few times-  two more if those times brought on two more seizures.  It is so sad that I don't know if I will be able to look into her lovely eyes again as her illness seems ready to take her away.
It is so sudden, she had such a good day yesterday and I was sooo happy.  Now I'm in shock.  I need her to live for my parents to see her on Saturday. I am too numb to process this, my life revolves around her.
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1916673_tn?1388595391
Hello. Hoping Lulu is okay. I would say, if she is still eating, then half the battle is won for now, even though you are clearly aware that time may not be on your side. There will come a point when Lulu looks at you and says the words, 'Im ready.' Hearbreaking as it is, it's your last responsibility to her to prevent further untreatable suffering. I am not there, so cannot say whether that time is rapidly approaching, though I fear it may be.

You are both in my thoughts. Tony x
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Sent by SweetBeauty808 Jan 31, 2014
Hi Jay,
I've been reading your tips and comments on this topic and it breaks my heart with all the stories, and at the same time given me some good advice.  Yet I am puzzled with the situation I'm in and the direction I will be heading with my dog.  My just turned 3 yr old lab was tested Lyme positive back on dec. 26.  No full panel blood was taken at the time though the vet said she was going to do that. My dog was given doxycycline and pain meds.  She was throwing up everyday and we went back to the er to get sucralfate for possible ulcers and an anti-nausea...still no bloodwork.  2 weeks later, my dog had complete leg lameness, wouldn't get up and was vomiting on herself on her bed. We take her to the vet who finally does full panel and we are rushed to the er vet for fluids.  Come to find out now 3 weeks later, my dog is diagnosed with esrd.  Yet there's a twist, somehow her cells are attacking her own body.  So not only I am dealing with that, we have an underlying problem.  She is then hospitalized for a whole week and I went to see her 2x daily. I  was so disappointed at the care and I could really go on about that,  but we ended transferring her out to a top university vet hospital.  She was then hospitalized there for 3 days but because further I could only see her for an hr 1x daily.  I feel like I abandoned her, but at the same time, maybe that's why she decompensated.  finally was told that her prognosis is not good and had three options.  To euthanize her, care and comfort at home, or tubes in her vein and her urethra.  I took care and comfort at home.  Since then she is still here with us today being a week later.  We took her back in for lab work two days ago and her bun went up 2 points at 246 her phosphorous has gone a little lower at 4.9 and her anemia went up from 19% to 20%. Her kidney shows at least half kind a looks good and the other half doesn't.  Her rine of her kidney is gone, but her kidney is slightly a little bigger that kidney size, so it hasn't shriveled like in so many stories I read.  It made me happy, but now, she's not drinking as much as we've been told she is severely dehydrated and with ulcers in the mouth.  I feel like I'm on a roller coaster. Making all kinds of food for my lucky water as she enjoys one thing one day and another a different day, and then for the first time, not really eating yesterday. But everyday she pushes herself on a jog/ run for about 25 minutes and everyday going outside then coming in, she shakes like crazy. Mi put my heating blanket on her to stop her shake.  With the food, yesterday she would only eat turkey dogs.  I understand that the vet wants her on the kd formula in which she eats a t times, but I feel so lost. I don't know how much time I have with her, I don't know how to keep her steady on a particular food in which I find myself boiling eggs, dark meat chicken, and ground turkey and hotdogs everyday.  The egg whites she did enjoy and she was eating 9 egg whites a day!  Now to none.  She now has fluid therapy under the skin, taking pepsin, enalapril, anzemet, decreasing on the prednisone, and on lactate ringer solution with a,ledozapine.  She's my beautiful dog and her same litter brother lays by her everyday.  I feel lost and am in tears everyday please help guide me through this.  With the wrap around autoimmune on top the kidney disease, the docs and I are just in a puzzle, and though they would like a biopsy, I don't think my poor a a scooby Dee will make it out.  
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I feel lost since my previous post.  My dog was suppose to get euthanized two weeks ago. The past two days, she hasn't eaten much. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster and is this expected of dogs with this disease. Is it the meds? I feel like I'm in the kitchen all day just trying to cook for her.  She won't eat egg whites scrambled or hard boiled, no hotdog, and is on a fix for dark chicken, but when I mix with k-d formula dry or wet, she won't take to it!  Can someone help? I do appreciate all the forums which I've read to get through this :)
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TY the KD Lamb... It seems to be more palatable and try offering it warmed up. My dog ate like a champ when I discovered this one. Another thing I'd so is add a little water to it but because the more fluids they can get, the better.

Good luck.
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Going through the exact same thing with my English Bulldog Maximus.  He is only 7 1/2 yrs old and was diagnosed on Feb 8th.   After a week in the hospital getting IV's and Meds, he seemed back to normal for a few weeks.  Then after applying the SUB Q Fluids daily along with the renal food, he reverted back to not eating.   He would eat ice cubes and drink water, chicken mcNuggets (to give him the meds) but didn't have interest in food.  I started to feed him through a syringe which he'd look at me with eyes like "what are you doing daddy?"  It was a mess.  But after 7 weeks of constant fluids, meds, feedings, egg whites, low protein treats, he just seems like he's had enough.   I feel for everyone on this site as I was in shock that at 7 yr old he had this horrible disease.   How did he get it?  I have no idea... I live in Arizona and guess we seem to have many cases of Kidney Failure.  Not sure if the heat has something to do with it or the water... or just his heredity.  Although his mom is still alive at 12 yrs old and dad passed away at 14...  so, I'm not sure why this cute, playfull bully got so sick.  He's been having Diarrhea for the past few weeks and that's hard to see him try and go and have his stool be liquid... plus he vomits the white bile when he's not eating cause he has no food in him..  just a horrible disease to deal with on his end and my families.  Just feel so bad that he is not his normal, spunky, loveable self.  And only being 7 really gets me..  if he was older i could somehow rationalize his age, especially as bulldogs only live to be 10 usually..  but, it really hurts.   The best thing for him is to end it before he really seems to be hurting and in pain.   He's lost so much weight from 60 lbs to 40 lbs...   He had many good days over the past two weeks which is why this disease really fools you.   You think, he seems fine, maybe he'll be better!   But, then the next day he's not eating.   We plan to give it another few days and see if he responds to another hospital visit with IV's and fluids, etc..  hope for the best but as many of you can relate, you have to do whats best for your pup.   Hope some people reading this will at least take their pup in and get regular blood work cause the earlier you catch that his BUN is elevated the longer you can treat them... once it's too late it's impossible to get them back.   Feeling sad in Scottsdale.  :-(
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Hello MaximusDad...Welcome, you've come to the right place.....Your doing a wonderful  job for Maximus....Trust me, I know it's tough!!!  We have another link on Kidney Disease, here on this forum...It's lengthy, but if full of vital information......Tony is the leader there! :) Please go read it when you can...You & your Maximus are in my prayers......Please remember, you are NOT alone......Karla

Here's the last & most recent page of the thread:

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Dogs/4th-stage-renal-failure-in-my-dog/show/425814
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Hi all,
it is really hard to read all your stories. i came to ask for help. Our dog has been diagonized last week with kidney failure.  the doctor said he is in his last stages.  But this has happened all of a sudden. he was totally fine until last week. We had his blood report and all the levels are high .. far more high than normal.  Now he is not eating, vomiting mostly, drinks lots of water, stool is in black colour and today while he vomitted there was blood flow through his anus.  What to do now? is he really in his last stages... ? should i euthanize him??? i am lost. kindly help me.
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1916673_tn?1388595391
Hello. I am very sorry you have received this news. A couple of questions, if I may ... how old is your dog? Do you know what his BUN and creatinine levels are (the vet should have given you a report)? The excessive drinking is typical of a dog in renal failure, as his body is full of toxins that would ordinarily be removed by the kidneys - but the kidneys are not doing their job, so due to the toxin build up and the electrolyte imbalance, your best friend will be very thirsty. Urinating won't rid the toxins, because they are in the blood instead of going through the kidneys.

Has you vet prescribed an anti-nausea medication? This will help encourage him to eat. He's not eating because of the toxins, which will make him feel sick, and he may associate his normal food with being sick. Try getting some renal diet tins of dog food and try him on that - it is lower in some of the problems contained in food, and it will help give him some energy.

Only you can decide when the right time to euthanize has arrived. Your dog will tell you if that time is today, tomorrow or some other time. Right now, the priority is to make him feel more comfortable, so concentrate on getting the anti-nausea medication and the KD diet. You can also talk to your vet about a phosphate binder, which may also help (but the phosphate levels in the blood need to be within normal range in order to use this, so discuss with your vet).

Thinking about you. Try not to worry, even though I know this is a difficult time. You are in good company here on this forum. Tony
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Thanks Tony. He is an 11 year old American Eskimo Spitz. All these days he was more than a friend and to think that we would be losing him all of a sudden is too much. i will give the report details tomorrow as it is with my mom now.  After seeing the forum, I am really worried about thinking, what he must be feeling inside.. the pain, the fear... but till now atleast his face is bright as always.  

My vet prescribed anti-nausea medicine and the Royal Canine can food last week. But once the blood reports came, he just gave the food supplement tonic and told if he is too weak, come and get the trips injected now and then.  Vinny is not eating Royal Canine too, which he initially liked very much.  Right now his entire intake is just 15ml electrol in the morning and in the evening.. that too only on compulsion.    yesterday he was so restless that he stayed outdoors and kept roaming from morning till evening which he hasn't done in his lifetime.  
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Hi again. Okay. If there is no change within the next 24 hrs, then you should definitely discuss things further with your vet. Vinny needs to eat something, so you may try boiled chicken (better with the skin on, as the fat will give him some useful energy) or any high fat meat such as port or hamburger (with no onion or herbs added to the mix). Another worthwhile 'try' is green tripe, if you can get hold of it, as it's rich in good nutrients and low in phosphate. I would also urge you to try some rice bran, again if you can find it, as it is useful to bulk simple food and has several advantages to dogs in renal failure.

Small meals more often is the way to go, if he'll have anything. You could also try making a broth with the meat, rice bran, boiled white rice, a spoonful of chopped boiled or steamed cabbage - just chop finely and boil up, let go cold and see if he'll lap it up. Broth is useful because it gets additional fluids in him.

Has your vet spoken to you about SubQ fluids? This may be useful right now. The priority though is to get some food in him, to give him energy and nutrition.

Cyber hugs to you and your best friend, Tony
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Hi Vinnysfriend...

I left a reply on your other post. I rarely check in or comment on posts these days, so, I apologize for not replying sooner.

In addition to everything Tony has mentioned, I would like to add that the blood in the stool is usually due to ulcers, and therefore, it would be a good idea to get Vinny on some anti ulcer medication.

I am so glad you found Tony. He as researched this disease extensively, and he offers wonderful advise and support.
Tony, you are certainly a blessing for so many people on this site.

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Thank You Tony ! Its nice to have good help on what to do.. when we are just lost... I will surely try what you said. from today morning he is unable to get up and he is definitely not taking electrol too.. whatever we give him, he is not interested. should take his to his vet.
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Hi. I would like to give you some better news, but I think Vinny's condition is very worrying. I think, rather than disturb him, it would be good if you could get your vet to come out to you. I am not necessarily saying the 'time has come', but unless his blood levels can be reduced and you can get him to eat something (anything), then he will continue to deteriorate rapidly. The vet should be able to tell you how much of his kidneys are left working, and whether furthering the fight is the right thing to do. One of the reasons I mentioned cabbage in my earlier post was because cabbage treats ulcers naturally, without the need for additional chemicals from medicines (which put more stress on the kidneys).

I am really hopeful your vet can give you some extra time with Vinny and help him feel more comfortable. Give the guy a big hug from me. Tony
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sorry Tony I don't have good news either... the vet said it is better to decide within a day .... because Vinny is not actually getting up .. he has occassional bleeding from his nose and anus.. he whimpers a lot .. has difficulty breathing .. and keeps on rotating lying down... he doesn't want us to carry him.. but the hard thing is though he is in so much pain... when we comfort him or cuddle him.. he gives back a smile that says .. ' I am ok.. don't worry' ...
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Hi. I can't say what you should do ... but Vinny will tell you. Keep reassuring him, cuddling him and looking into his eyes. He will tell you when he's had enough. I am so very sorry. I had hoped maybe the kidney disease had not progressed quite this far, and that we might help you gain some extra time, but I feel that's now clearly unlikely.

My heart goes out to you. I know how hard this is. You are both in my thoughts today. Come back and talk whenever you need. I for one will check in often. Give Vinny a hug from me.

Tony
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I am so sad to hear about Vinny. My heart aches for you. You know Vinny best, and you will make the right decisions for him. This is such a difficult time, please know that you are both in my thoughts and prayers. Give Vinny a hug and a smooch from me.
Connie
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Thanks Tony, Connie.. Vinny doesn't want pampering him too now...   he doesn't want us to touch him .. i think he is in too much pain.... he couldn't move anymore.. no vomiting.. no diarreaha.. no bleeding nose... but his eyes are still alive... it looks like he still listens as always .. that makes taking the decision too hard.. my mom still couldn't think of putting him to sleep.. he is a friend to me.. but a caring son to my mom.... i am talking to her to let him go......but again she says that his eyes are alive.... hope she becomes stronger to make the decision..... keep her in your prayers too.... she needs all the strength after he is gone...

I haven't come and read or answered in these forums before .. but great hug to you all guys who give hope and share the sorrows which cannot be usually shared..... and for which we usually don't find companions who understand them.... Thank You again. ..!
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We are here for you ... always. It is the hardest decision in the world. There is nothing that even compares to the thought of doing what's best for our loved ones, but so very wrong and painful for us. I wish I could find the right words for you, to comfort you and give you strength. All I can say is ... you and Vinny are in my thoughts. Cyber hugs to you both, Tony
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You are in my thoughts today!  Try to think of the good times you had with Vinny, though difficult in the beginning, but it is possible.  You'll see him again one day, but remember, soon enough he will be pain free and happy with healthy kidneys.  The disease can't take away the love we have for our furry friends.  
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Thanks Tony and Amielynn... Vinny is not with us now... He left at peace yesterday by himself... leaving us only in memories.. there were tears in his eyes when i was finally talking to him and saying good bye... but atleast as yo u all say he is pain-free now.  
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As I read your post, I find myself in tears. I am so very sorry for your loss. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy and condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your Mother.
God Bless your Beautiful Spirit and Soul Vinny. Run Free and know that you will always be loved.
Connie
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Vinnysfriend----My thoughts & prayers are with you & your mom.....I hope time will heal your Hearts! Hugs from Oklahoma, to you both! Karla
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Oh my friend ... I am so very sorry. Vinny's diagnosis was only a week and a half ago, which makes this that much more shocking and upsetting. This, sadly, was the same for me almost 3 years ago, when I lost my beautiful lurcher BB to this disease. It was so quick, I was left in shock for many many months. But - and this is a big but - Vinny is no longer suffering, and we have to be grateful for that small mercy.

I can imagine how distraught you and your mom are. It will take time to come to terms with this dreadful period. I can only suggest you both remember what a fantastic life you provided Vinny with. All those adventures, all that love, all that caring and devotion. You shared his life with him, and in return, he shared his life with you. Our dogs never live as long as we would like, but in their short lives, they live so much and give so much.

Again, please accept my sincere condolences. Please feel free to come back to talk about Vinny any time you like. I for one would love to read more about his life with you. Cyber hugs from the UK.

Run free Vinny.

Tony x
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I have had 5 friends lose their furry friends in 2 months, but none is as tough as losing them to kidney failure.  Your post reminds me of my last day with my Daisy.  I saw in her eyes that she was ready and I'm so glad I found the strength to say goodbye.  It's truly heartbreaking when we can't save our babies.  Vinny is running pain free now for sure, he knows that you loved him for so long and he loved you.  He will send you a sign when he's settled up there, but don't expect it overnight.  There are so many treats, toys and other pups he has to meet first.  Again, you're in my thoughts
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Thank You Connie, Karla, Tony and Amielynn for your support...

Two days went in crying and even now, our home is so very quiet.  He was a great dog with best temper.. He loves kids... he loves hearing stories ..  loves hearing songs... loves small animals even cats.... and my girl 6 years old is the unconsolable one... she wrote letters to him yesterday and buried it in sand .. so that he might read it and feel her love... From the moment she was born... she was Vinny's pet... I didn't even think .. we might lose him so early.. i was planning around 15 years of his age.. but it was so sudden...
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I can only imagine how you and your family are feeling right now. I would urge you to read this, which is something I wrote some time ago ... it may help during your period of grieving: http://www.infobarrel.com/When_a_Pet_Dog_Dies

Cyber hugs. Tony x
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Your house will be quiet until you get into a new routine.  Take your time, you'll get there.  Remind your daughter that Vinny is always with her, just in a different way now.  He has his angel wings and his paw prints will always be in her heart.  Don't let her forget him :)
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That was really helpful... .Though our mind usually knows all those stuff.. when our heart gets affected... we don't think... it was refreshing reading your write up.  and you should be really great  taking care of many furry friends... Thanks again.
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Thank you. I'm glad it helped. Feel free to come here as often as you like. There will always be someone ready and willing to chat. Vinny sure was a lucky and loved dog. I hope tomorrow you and your mom will feel a little better, and then gradually, as time moves on, the memories will become happy instead of painful. You are in my thoughts. Take care. Tony
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I have a four year old yellow lab, Aly.  A week ago I went running with her and on mile four she collapsed.  (We hadn't been running in a few weeks, but normally she can run up to ten miles.). We were on a trail and I couldn't budge her.  I ran the last mile and a half for my car.  She was gone when I returned and after three hours of searching, I found her in a nearby ravine next to the creek.  We hiked down to get her and carried her up.  She threw up on the way to the vet.

The vet gave her fluids and sent her home five hours later as it was Memorial Day weekend.  She laid around the house all weekend and occasionally had tremors.  I noticed there was a wet spot under her whenever she laid down for any amount of time.

  On Tuesday I brought my Aly back as she had not eaten since Friday, the day before she collapsed. The vet ran test on her and found that she had anaplasmosis, a tick borne disease.  Apparently this caused kidney failure as her kidneys levels were extremely high.  The vet kept her for four days and had her on antibiotics, prednisone, and IV fluids.  However her kidney levels did not improve and she would not eat for him.  The vet said there wasn't really anything he could do and sent her home to be with us this evening.  

Our Aly dog just lays around.  The kids have tried giving her canned dog food, beef jerky, anything that will interest her, but she just turns away.  My oldest daughter managed to have Aly lick little bits of dog food off her fingers.

I am at a loss of what to do.  Aly just seems so depressed and moves slower than normal.  She wags her tail when she sees us, but has lost all her crazy energy she had just over a week ago.

I would love any advice.  I feel terrible that I didn't see this coming.  Two days before she collapsed, I noticed she wasn't finishing her dog food as she normally devours it.  That was really the only sign.

I don't want her to suffer, but I also feel that I can't give up.  Should I take her to another vet to see if there is more that can be done?  She is only four years old.  I just feel I can't just give up.  

If there is nothing to be done, what can I expect?  How long do I wait to take her in?  I don't want her to be in pain.  Aly is such a sweet dog and part of our family.
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Hello. Yes, take her to another vet. This is ACUTE renal failure, which is different to Chronic Renal Failure. The early treatment is much the same, but there is always a god chance of full recovery, given the right treatment. The only problem is that acute renal failure can develop into chronic renal failure if a fast recovery isn't achieved. So, it is very important to get things under control as quickly as possible.

Eating advice is difficult, because if she isn't eating, you need to try low protein (or human grade fatty meats, like chicken with the skin on, beefburger, lamb or - much better - green tripe). Human grade meats have good quality protein, which is easier for the kidneys to deal with. The vet needs to undertake a full blood panel check to assess whether a phosphate binder would be useful and to assess the next step. I would also suggest adding a anti-nausea medication to the mix, as she isn't eating partly because she feels sick (due to toxin build-up).

I would also try her on some renal specific tinned dog food (check DogAdvisor for the best one to get, aim for four or five star reviews). This will help reduce the toxins and improve the chance of better blood levels. IV fluids are essential, and this needs to be quite intensive, to flush the kidneys and remove toxins.

Hope this helps. I wouldn't wait ... see another vet as soon as you can.

Tony
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Hello & welcome.....WOW!!!  Did your Vet really send her home with nothing???? Why is he Not treating for the Anaplasmosis? The treatment of choice is always Doxycycline and the dog should show remarkable improvement in 3-5 days once started on the antibiotic!!!

The kidneys need to supported with fluids & medication and a renal diet until the disease is past.......Fluids are vital to flush the toxins quickly...You can do this at home once the Vet shows you how......This disease is also contagious to humans, but one of my dogs has had something similar & I was never treated!!

She needs Cerenia (From your Vet) for the nausea & some vets will use an anti-inflammatory because of joint pain.. I would NOT use one because they can harm the kidney's more...

For food: Feed her chicken & rice!!!! At least, cook the rice, the chicken can be cooked or raw!  Get to a local pet store & find a CAN of green tripe...Two or three companies make one.....See if she will eat it! Don't panic when you smell it......It's a wonder food!!! Also, you can buy a tube of Nutri-cal at either your Vet or petstore.....It's a high quality meal replacement supplement & she needs it since she's not eating...It WILL substain her! I find it at Petco, NOT petsmart....
Only feed moisture rich foods to keep her fluids flowing.....

I personally think you can turn this all around.....I don't understand what your Vet is thinking!!!

How was the Anaplasmosis diagnosed?? Was it a snap test or full blood panel? Your Vet must have already done a panel or he wouldn't know the extent of the Kidney failure! Do you have a copy??? You need one! Get any results from this Vet & find another Vet ASAP.....

If you have copies of the tick panel AND the blood panel, you will not need to repeat any of these at a different Vet!!! You need to hurry on this...

Please, let us know........Karla
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The above post is for  "Miribell"....
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I think with being so upset last night, I didn't explain myself well.  The vet did send Aly home with medicine.  She is on Prednisone, Famotidine, and Amoxicillin.  The vet really is caring and called this morning to check on her.  

Also I talked to another vet friend and she said that if Aly didn't respond to fluids, there wasn't much else to do.   However, she feels that the kidney failure was not caused by anaplasmosis, but that she may have an auto immune or genetic kidney disease that caused this.  It's all so surreal.

However, today Aly showed more energy and even greeted me at the door when I came home.  (Yesterday she was so letharic and seemed disinterested and depressed.). Today she ate some turkey meat and  a cup of Acana Wild Prairie Regional Formula.  That was extremely encouraging.  (First time really eating in over a week!)

I really appreciate the thoughts and advice.  We still have time to figure this out, I believe.
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Do you have a copy of the bloodwork? I would be curious about some of it.....Thanks, Karla

P.S. Delighted she's feeling better..... :)  
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Thank you! :) I do not have a copy of the blood work.  I'll have to ask for it.
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One thing you can try is using baby food as a gravy.  Sometimes dogs like it and it doesn't worsen many health conditions.  I am going through a similar thing and it makes her hyperallergenic food tastier.  I roll the food into meatballs and hand feed her.  She is eating again.
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One thing you can try is using baby food as a gravy.  Sometimes dogs like it and it does worsen many health conditions.  I am going through a similar thing and it makes her hyperallergenic food tastier.  I roll the food into meatballs and hand feed her.  She is eating again.
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I was able to get my dog to eat by first letting her eat fat-free cottage cheese.  I then was able to get her to eat boiled chicken.  A few days later she was able to eat dog food that was mostly chicken.  She is now eating a few other hypoallergenic dog foods, but I had to put baby food on it as a gravy.  I wake up afraid each morning that she won't eat so I know how you feel.  It was devastating last week when my dog wouldn't eat. I couldn't concentrate on anything else. My heart goes out to you.  I hope this helps.
PS: My dog liked the food better when I rolled it into meatballs before putting the baby food sauce on it.  
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My jack Russell was diagnosed with final stage of kidney failure in March 2014. We brought him for acupuncture and he was prescribed with Chinese herbs grinded into powder. The animal acupuncturist told us that those capsules we made by himself and good for my dog's weak legs. We trusted him and our folly lead to the acute kidney failure of my dog.

We were told that he can last for days or months but not exceeding six months. There are three downturn in his health condition and the third took his life on 6 July 2014. His blood test results had never improve since March but he look outwardly alright. His preference of food changes from day to day. I can prepare a few types of meat in a day to see which is to his liking. He may eat all or just little. In the first two months, we took great care to ensure he eats a healthy and balanced diet. His food was KD in the morning and steamed meat with cauliflower, potato and carrots at night. By the third month, it was no longer a matter of what he eat but just to ensure he eats to keep going.

The vet has prescribed him with Science diet KD and he eats that most of the time on his own. On days when he don't eat enough, we will blend he KD cannned food and syringe into his mouth. He is on daily drip of 100-200ml of sodium chloride once or twice a day depending if his gums are dry from dehydration. He is prescribed quater Phospate Binder twice a day and fed anti nausea as and when he starts vomiting. We understand that with the Phospate binder and daily drip, he should not go into seizure. His stools are mostly soft and urine is colorless. We have note books to track his food, activity and pee/poo. Being senile, he sleeps in the morning and awake at night. His legs are weak and may not be able to get up when he fall.  He therefore requires 24 hour care as he has forgotten to pee or poo on the newspaper.

The week before his passing, he started eating very little. Three days before his departure, he stopped eating and drink small sips of water. The day before he left me, he vomited brown liquid (previously yellow) , wake up every two hours during daytime to whine and bark . We knew that his time is near but thought it would be better for him to die at home as he never like going to the vet. We regretted this decision that night as he whine and bark nonstop from 11pm to 5am. It was very clear then that he is very uncomfortable His poo has turned black by then. We cannot bear to see his suffer further and wanted to bring him to the vet in the morning. Before we left home, he started vomiting, pee and poo all at the same time for about two minutes. He passed on thereafter.

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There are many lessons to be learned from your experience. The biggest, perhaps, is never ever ever go to a Chinese herbalist - because the Chinese herbs are very often poisonous to dogs and very often contain very bad and often unethical ingredients. The second lesson is that kidney failure can be extremely painful towards the last few days, so no matter how hard it may be, euthanasia is the very best option for the dog.

I am so sorry you and your dog experienced this dreadful end phase, but at least they are at peace now and no longer suffering. My thoughts are with you during this time of loss.

Tony
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You are absolutely right on the Chinese herbs. I only understand after this incident that soil that the herbs are planted on may be toxic , passing on the harmful substance to the herb itself. The Chinese doctors themselves may also add lead or mercury in the grinded medication so that the patients can show more improvement outwardly. As a rule of thumb, we should never consume chinese grinded herbs as we will not know what goes in there.

As for euthanasia, I understand that these are the few situations that may indicate that the dog's time is near:-

1. vomiting of brown or greenish bile
2. black poo
3. Stop eating and drinking for more than two days

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Hello again. The other thing with many Chinese herbs are they sometimes (commonly) contain traces of animal parts, such as rhino horn, which means that in order for one animal to (seemingly) get help, another animal had to die - and that other animal is often one of an endangered species.

The only other thing I would add to your post above is that blood analysis is the clearest indication of when euthanasia might be considered, because once the BUN and creatinine levels are continuing to skyrocket despite interventions, the kidneys are clearly continuing to fail. And lastly, a dog will always tell its owner when he or she has had enough of life and of fighting - it's the hardest thing to witness - but it happens.

Tony
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