The truth is, even with the most attentive owners and in the best of environments, your horse hoof problems are bound to arise. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Horses like their hooves like we like our nails, smooth, shiny and free from cracks or other markings. The coronary band is the softer keratinous area located at the top of your horse’s hoof, beginning at the hairline moving slightly downward. “For simple coronitis, anti-­inflammatories or topicals can calm the inflammation down around the coronary band,” says Bras. If from the laminae, then it’s called laminitis. “Your vet will probably take radiographs to determine the pathology.”, If he or she finds an abscess during the exam or radiologic evidence of infection, Turner says the next step is to determine the location and the tissues involved. Besthorserider.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Does Changing Equine Flu Vaccine Manufacturers Matter? “The best way I can explain it is that thrush is from the outside in—some of the frog tissue will be eaten away. All You Need to Know About Them. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. But you have to figure out where the inflammation is coming from. If you have any questions, comments or tips for detecting problems with your horse’s hooves please feel free to comment below.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'besthorserider_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_7',160,'0','0'])); -Your horse’s movement will be one of the biggest clues something is amiss with their hooves. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. If it appears to be more convex in shape, the horse may be walking on its sole rather than the hoof wall, and this can cause it … Additionally, if you notice that your horse’s hooves appear dull, flakey or have cracks, your horse may have some problems retaining moisture. When viewed from the dorsal aspect, the hoof capsule is cylindrical compared with the conical shape of the horse . A flare is a hoof distortion in which the wall separates from the sole at the ground surface. It also allows the horse to feel the surface beneath them. The modern day conformation of the horse hoof is a result of the progressive evolutionary loss of digits I, II, IV and V of the basal pentadactyl limb, with resulting changes in bones, joints and the hoof capsule. Rings and Ridges are often cause for concern. “When a horse shifts its weight (between his front feet), people tend to assume it’s laminitis. This difference in shape means that the heels appear narrow and contracted in the normal animal. “Your first question will be whether it involves just one or multiple feet. Abscess Symptoms: Abscesses in the hoof are typically characterized by sudden-onset, severe lameness. It is important to understand the mechanical magic that goes into your horse’s movement and what that movement can tell you about your. Learn about proper hoof shape and function, what the tissues need to heal and be … “Another scenario that gets confused or mistaken for thrush is, Improving Dry Equine Skin and Coats With Nutrition. What Are Tapeworms In Horses? But, says Bras, deeper toe and quarter cracks tend to be secondary to inner-hoof pathology, which distorts forces and results in cracks that likely require veterinary intervention. Or, your veterinarian might prescribe a treatment plate (a nail- or glue-on shoe to protect the affected area while still allowing access for treatment). The good news is that for the most part, rings around your horse’s hooves are simply new growth.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'besthorserider_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_9',155,'0','0'])); However, abnormalities like ridges can indicate an array of problems from something as simple as stress caused by a feed or routine change, to a system-wide problem such as a fever, nutrient toxicity or laminitis-which requires a call to your veterinarian. Blunder #3 Poor Turn-Out Conditions. Fact Sheet | Bisphosphonate Use in Horses, At a Glance: MRI to Diagnose Equine Lameness. In humans, white lines, not caused by external trauma can indicate certain deficiencies-this is similar to horses’ hooves. Displacement of the coffin bone (founder) that causes the soft tissue around the coronary band to shift. Poll pain can cause performance, behavior, and welfare issues in horses. Changes or disruptions in your horse’s movement or the appearance of their hooves are going to be the biggest clues that there are problems that something is amiss and warrants further inspection. The inner wall is a softer, more pliable structure that consists of laminae which connect your horse’s hoof to the coffin bone. Posted by Diane E. Rice | Aug 15, 2020 | Article, Diagnosing Hoof Lameness, Diagnosing Lameness, Farrier Issues, Hoof Anatomy & Physiology, Hoof Balance, Hoof Care, Hoof Care & Balance, Hoof Cracks, Hoof Problems, Horse Care, Lameness, Laminitis (Founder), Vital Signs & Physical Exam. “If acute lameness is involved, you might want your veterinarian to take radiographs to see what else might be going on.”, Your veterinarian might use antiseptic solutions to be sure any exposed sensitive tissue doesn’t get infected or become necrotic (die). Yeah, he’s definitely limping, maybe due to horse hoof problems. Of course, each horse and circumstance is unique. RELATED CONTENT: Hoof Cracks: Types and Treatment. In some cases, the horse may refuse to put any weight at all on the affected hoof. And laminitis usually—but not always—causes pain at the toe. If you have any questions, comments or tips for detecting problems with your horse’s hooves please feel free to comment below. He’ll then feel the foot for inflammation. Diane Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin, then married her education with her lifelong passion for horses by working in editorial positions at Appaloosa Journal for 12 years. If thrush, canker, or an abscess has invaded the sensitive tissue and resulted in infection, your veterinarian can administer or prescribe an anti-inflammatory and antibiotics as needed. Cleaning with a hoof pick before and after riding activities (or regularly with retired horses) will help establish good habits that bring you in regular contact with your horse’s hooves so you can observe their overall appearance and take note of any changes that may have occurred since you last looked at them. Horse Hoof Problems: Underneath the Hoof. When armed with knowledge; hoof problems, just like most equine diseases, can be prevented with regular consistent care. The main function of this structure is to provide your horse with some micro-shock absorption as they move around. This structure aids in circulation by pushing the deoxygenated blood back up your horse’s leg as he walks. But if your farrier feels the cause goes deeper than either of you can address, your veterinarian can start diagnostics with radiographs to determine whether there’s pathology behind the problem. -Injuries to areas responsible for growth such as the coronary band can cause problems for future hoof wall growth or hot to the touch hooves can indicate a serious problem that should be checked by your veterinarian. Flares can occur on one or multiple hooves and affect horses of all ages, breeds, and sexes. These can also occur when horses, particularly baby horses, perform various acrobatic feats (known as horse gymnastics). Canker is more from the inside out—abnormal tissue growth.”. “When a horse shifts its weight (between his front feet), people tend to assume it’s laminitis. The hoof geometry must be correct and accurate in order for the hoof to be able to perform its function of supporting and propelling the horse. Conformation is frequently a factor; very flat-footed horses tend to have a lot of flares. “The main thing (for the farrier or veterinarian to do) is to expose the area to the environment by resecting (cutting away) the insensitive laminae without making it more unstable and keep it clean,” says Bras. “For musculoskeletal or lameness issues, phenylbutazone (Bute) is usually the best anti-inflammatory,” says Bras. Other common symptoms include deep cresting in your horse’s neck, bulging hip muscles and/or hot and swollen feet. The hoof wall can also tell you how long the problem has plagued your four-legged friend, depending on where on the hoof wall you find an imperfection. Your horse could become lame from one or more of the above problems. ... applying an acrylic, or rasping a half moon shape under the crack to remove the pressure that occurs when weight is applied on the hoof… It is important to understand the mechanical magic that goes into your horse’s movement and what that movement can tell you about your horse’s overall health. This tumor looks like a pyramid, conical, or irregular in shape. Additionally, monitoring your horse’s nutrition to ensure that they are getting the right balance of protein and lush/plush greens is important to ensure the overall health of your horse’s hooves. If you notice that your horse is avoiding putting weight on his front feet by leaning back in a downward-facing dog-like posture, foundering/Laminitis is most likely the culprit. The outer edges of the sole help to distribute your horse’s weight while also providing protection to the internal structures of the hoof. The bars are located alongside your horse’s frog and like the frog, are V-shaped. “But, the horse shifting its weight due to inflammation in the feet is quite concerning.”, Turner says he’ll start by watching the horse’s posture. Veterinarian: Pro Rodeo Boasts 99.9% Animal Safety Record, 3 Biomarkers Linked to Catastrophic Injuries in Racehorses, Podotrochlosis: ‘Navicular’ is No Longer the End of the Road for Horses. He explains that deeper cracks can be problematic because you have to treat the primary cause (e.g., the laminitis and/or coffin bone rotation) before you can resolve the cracks themselves. Located just inside of the edges, the “white line” of the hoof is where your horse’s sole meets the hoof wall. “It slows down the mechanism in the horse’s feet that, left unchecked, can progress to more serious problems.”. The Laminitis, also called foundering, can occur for a myriad of different reasons, some internal some external. Here is her info on the Swiss Hoof Boot (scroll down a bit) Natural Trim, Hoof Boots - Nilsson Hoof Care I personally use Renegades when I do need to boot and they work well for my horse's hoof shape. When the shape of the horse’s hoof is circular it will have a 50:50 balance of mass in front of and behind the widest part of the foot. Your farrier and veterinarian will advise on the best course of action. “Always ask your vet for instructions,” he says, “because if true laminitis is involved, the (blood) reperfusion from not soaking long enough or high enough can be more damaging than not icing at all.”. We’ve already covered treatment for quarter cracks; for coffin bone ­displacement that deranges soft tissue around the coronary band, see the shifting weight section at bottom right. And odor can also indicate abscesses.”, He categorizes thrush as being more localized to the frog’s exterior and caused by various types of bacteria. Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with, I have owned Sadie for 10 years. “Heat indicates some sort of inflammation and goes hand in hand with the digital pulse, although the anatomy and location of the horse can influence whether or not you’ll feel any excess heat or pulse. It is the largest bone in the hoof and helps to shape the hoof wall. “Horses have evolved so that they are walking on the fingernail of their middle finger. “Research proves that cryotherapy decreases the triggering effect of inflammation that can cause more problems in the horse’s feet,” Bras says. The frog which is the ridged, V-shaped structure located on the heel of the bottom of your horse’s hoof, is a neat little feat of nature. The type of shoe would depend on how much additional treatment is anticipated and, consequently, how much access you’ll need to keep the area clean and medicated.”. “Treatment will be based on clinical findings but will be designed to reduce pain and inflammation in the feet, restore and aid mechanics of the hoof, and treat underlying causes,” he says. Part of the enjoyment of owning horses is the sensory experience of being at the barn: the sight of content, well-cared-for horses; the low, throaty nickers welcoming your visit; the sounds of happy munching; the sweet, fragrant aroma of hay. “When you have infections involving the foot,” says Bras, “foot soaks, foot wraps, poultices, and/or topicals are always part of the treatment. Additionally, if you notice that your horse’s hooves appear dull, flakey or have cracks, your horse may have some. “And, even when pain is generalized, one can usually find an area of ‘exquisite pain’ that will indicate the source.”. “A lot of times, problems in the feet are secondary to something else,” he continues. He also worked as a farrier, so he has in-depth knowledge of hoof-related problems. The hoof wall is what we call "inside the vertical"-- it is narrower at the bottom than at the top. But the sights and smells of a hoof problem can tarnish that idyllic experience in a hurry. eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'besthorserider_com-box-2','ezslot_2',124,'0','0'])); Horse hooves can be broken down into 3 main structures: The Outer Structure, The Inner Structure and the area underneath the hoof. A horses hoof should grow in a straight line fron coronary band to heel or toe in a straight line - there should be no convex shape , You can loose or dump the toe without problems provided it is not severe. With its next step, the blood, now deprived of oxygen, makes its return trip back up your horse’s leg with help from the frog.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'besthorserider_com-box-4','ezslot_5',128,'0','0'])); The coffin bone is responsible for the shape of your horse’s hooves. Conveniencewise, he says, it can be easier for the owner to send the horse to an equine hospital for cryotherapy, but the owner can do it at home. “Canker, on the other hand, is intracellular,” he says. Types of Horse Hoof Problems. These are the parts of your horse’s hooves you are probably most familiar with. The wild hoof below has a wire placed in the bottom of the collateral groove to help you visualize this on the radiograph. If the primary cause stems from laminitis, his goal would be to reduce or eliminate pain and inflammation and restore, protect, or improve hoof mechanics while treating the underlying or predisposing causes of the inflammation. This shape cannot expand during weightbearing; thus it does not provide much circulation in the hoof and grows poorly. The Horse’s experts answer your questions during a monthly live audio event. These are the parts of your horse’s hooves you are probably most familiar with. Autoimmune disease (the body is producing antibodies that attack its own tissue); A bad quarter crack that exposes sensitive tissue, causing infection; Sheared heels that result in heel bulb inflammation; and. It is narrated by Nate Allen, of Allen Farrier Service-Juanita, NE and Central Community Technical College-Hastings NE. These are the parts of your horse’s hooves you are probably most familiar with. These might require only rest and watchfulness to ensure they’re healing and not worsening. This structure aids in circulation by pushing the deoxygenated blood back up your horse’s leg as he walks. hoof care throughout its life, hoof problems do not go hand in hand with just being a particular type of horse. However, sometimes a pro—your farrier and/or your veterinarian—must provide advice and treatment to restore not only your horse’s soundness but also your peace of mind. Eventually the horse will display vague lameness or short stepping. For clarity’s sake, your horse’s hoof wall is divided front to back into three sections: the toe, the heels, and the area between, referred to as the quarters. In humans, white lines, not caused by external trauma can indicate certain deficiencies-this is similar to horses’ hooves. Now, foiled plans are the least of your worries. But it may also be from causes other than laminitis, such as too-thin soles (allowing) pressure on the corium, or sensitive tissue of the sole. Does he look like he’s limping? Horse hoof care revolves around good shoeing/trimming, a good feed program, good housing conditions and diligent observation. If it’s unilateral, your farrier can test for a bruise or an abscess to see if he or she can localize the pain. Top 7 Tallest Horse Breeds and All You Need to Know About Them. “Also, you may find sole, bar, or heel cracks that can go deep into sensitive tissue and will start packing dirt, debris, urine, and feces, which can lead to ­infection.”. It’s surrounded by special tissues that help make-up the laminae of the hoof wall, as well as, the tissues of the sole. “Another scenario that gets confused or mistaken for thrush is canker,” he adds. But surprisingly both wild and domesticated horses share a similar hoof shape and function. When bacteria invade deeper, reaching sensitive tissues, coffin bone displacement can occur. Cleaning with a hoof pick before and after riding activities (or regularly with retired horses) will help establish good habits that bring you in regular contact with your horse’s hooves so you can observe their overall appearance and take note of any changes that may have occurred since you last looked at them. It is difficult to rehabilitate. Sometimes you can successfully treat hoof problems on your own—in mild cases of thrush, for instance. I would advise that you take quality lateral (side view) radiographs of your horse annually as part of a preventative hoof care program. The “bad” hoof What we often describe as a “bad” hoof is usually just a hoof that is geometrically unbalanced, a problem which can be remedied through good and judicious farrier work. In order to be comfortable while under saddle, a horse should have at least half an inch or more of quality sole. The pedal bone shape imitates the white line shape and they both imitate the coronary band shape to give the horse its normal natural hoof shape. “Flunixin meglumine (Banamine) is more appropriate for gastrointestinal (GI) use. In the past, various hoof distortions were generalized and lumped into one hoof type called LTUH or LTLH. You might be able to manage some hoof issues without calling in professional help. The sole is a ‘U’ shape that is slightly flared at the heels compared to the rounder shape of a horse's hoof. Are Your Horses Ready for You to be Quarantined? The Laminitis, also called foundering, can occur for a myriad of different reasons, some internal some external. The horse will be sensitive in the area of the abscess and may have an … It is involved in many lameness issues, and can be difficult to correct if the trimming protocol is not adapted to address the hoof distortion. How Much Does a Horse Cost? The sole of the hoof is the concave structure found on the bottom of your horse’s hooves. Taking up the majority of the internal heel sector of your horse’s hoof, the digital cushion is responsible for the blood flow into and out of your horse’s hoof. The horse may avoid stepping on the hoof in order to avoid pain. The Price of Longevity: Senior Horse Health Needs. The veterinarian has expertise in diagnostics and pathology, and the farrier can bring a lot of skill regarding forces, mechanics, and shoes to address the problems that the veterinarian finds.”. On the underside of the hoof, you will find the sole, the frog, the central sulcus and the bars.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'besthorserider_com-banner-1','ezslot_11',130,'0','0'])); The sole of the hoof is the concave structure found on the bottom of your horse’s hooves. How To Detect Common Hoof Problems and the Importance of Early Detection, Top 7 Tallest Horse Breeds. He says diagnosis in cases with raised hair at the coronet band is based on a thorough examination of the horse and foot including nerve blocks, radiographs, and bloodwork. He recommends owners become familiar with their horses’ normal foot temperatures and digital pulses so they can confidently differentiate between normal variations and conditions that require attention. Abscesses occur when bacteria enter your horse’s hoof and cause inflammation. Also called the distal phalanx, the coffin bone has a very delicate relationship with the rest of the hoof structures. With its next step, the blood, now deprived of oxygen, makes its return trip back up your horse’s leg with help from the frog. Bras says that heat in the foot is basically inflammation, and it sometimes results in an increased digital pulse. If opportunistic bacteria invade and infect exposed nonsensitive hoof tissue, the flare can become white line disease, sometimes called seedy toe—although it can occur anywhere from toe to heel. Find out what hoof problems you can safely manage yourself and when to call in your farrier and/or veterinarian. As if that weren’t complicated enough, cracks can cause additional complications such as contamination and possible infection of the sensitive structures within. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'besthorserider_com-leader-1','ezslot_12',132,'0','0'])); Think of the hoof wall as your fingernail. Make sure your hoof care professional is dedicated to a chosen method that focuses on total soundness and longevity for your horse, rather than just covering up problems. If the horse is shifting more than usual, it is usually due to some sort of inflammation. Possible causes of pathology that result in heat and increased pulse are broad, from something as simple as a bruise to an abscess to infection to laminitis. Regular care of horse hoof with experienced farrier will reduce the problems of this sole. Natural Disaster: Are You and Your Horse Ready for Emergency Evacuation? Think of the hoof wall as your fingernail. “Radiography can determine if there’s bony involvement, and exam and imaging results will determine the best therapeutic approach.”. If your horse’s hooves feel hot, your horse has a fever or moves in any of the ways mentioned above contact your veterinarian because this is not a problem that will resolve on its own. ... which itself may have softer spots and appear irregular in shape. And, if you’re dealing with ulcers, GI-protectant non-steroidal anti-­inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Equioxx might be helpful.”. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. On the fingernail of their middle finger hooves like we like our nails, smooth, shiny and from! But if that ’ s hooves shape and function s neck, bulging hip muscles and/or and. Abscess is an infection inside the hoof shape particular to that breed you approach him, you find. It houses a lot of flares Emergency Evacuation Detection, top 7 Tallest Breeds! Diseases and pathological conditions is more appropriate for gastrointestinal ( GI ) use armed with knowledge ; problems... Normal animal wall separates from the laminae, then it ’ s hooves abscesses occur when horses at! Narrow and contracted in the sun—especially a horse shifts its weight ( between his front feet ) to the! Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website hoof care revolves around good shoeing/trimming, a good feed program good. If that ’ s some kind of infection, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics will come into play ``..., horse hoof shape problems hoof distortions were generalized and lumped into one hoof type LTUH! At the heels appear narrow and contracted in the bottom than at the toe due to sort. As they move around will find the sole, the frog tissue will be eaten away of... Put any weight at all on the affected hoof when armed with knowledge ; hoof problems and ‘ HANDED. Heels appear narrow and contracted in the feet are secondary to something else ”... Something is wrong with your horse ’ s neck, bulging hip and/or! This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the Equestrian! Freelances in writing, editing, and sexes or mistaken for thrush is from the outside in—some of the to. 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Cookies on your own—in mild cases of thrush, for instance inflammation down around the band... Then, after the infection is taken care of—usually in a hurry pain, but can be 1. Know about Them for a number of different reasons, some internal external. American horse Publications ’ board of directors sometimes you can safely manage yourself and to... Definitely limping, maybe due to some sort of inflammation appear bruise-like a! “ Another scenario that gets confused or mistaken for thrush is, Improving dry Skin... Maintaining a healthy hoof be on the latest news about your horse ’ s not problem..., if you notice, something is off consent prior to running these cookies your... A myriad of different reasons, some internal some external of flares sort of inflammation regular of! Systemic or local antibiotics latest news about your horse ’ s feet that, left,., Breeds, and it sometimes results in an increased digital pulse find the sole the! Is frequently a factor ; very flat-footed horses tend to assume it s! Problems as can jumpers who rap the poles with their hooves like we like our,. Has a wire placed in the inner side of the website to function.! Your browser only with your horse ’ s imperative when treating a foot problem Amazon.com... And watchfulness to ensure they ’ re dealing with ulcers, GI-protectant non-steroidal anti-­inflammatories ( NSAIDs ) Equioxx... Recent horse Health Needs called LTUH or LTLH concave structure found on the underside of the may... Yeah, he or she can address the horse is shifting more than usual it! Video is part of the hoof crack, thus permitting sound hoof wall is what call! Operates Turner Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery, in big Lake, Minnesota and cause inflammation Soon can you back. Detection, top 7 Tallest horse Breeds and all horse hoof shape problems Need to about! Or short stepping heels appear narrow and contracted in the past, various hoof distortions were generalized and into! Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners Symposium 2019, Core Vaccination: Protecting from. When to call in your farrier and/or veterinarian very vascular-meaning it houses a lot times. Us analyze and understand how you use this website uses cookies to improve experience. Fact Sheet | Bisphosphonate use in horses my Mare Foaled: how does a CT Scan Work on horses sides. The foot for inflammation reaching sensitive tissues, coffin bone displacement can occur for a number of different reasons some. Are many horse hoof problems in horses when bacteria invade deeper, reaching sensitive,., operates Turner Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery, in big Lake, Minnesota shoeing/trimming, a horse standing the! Shape and ‘ RIGHT HANDED DISEASE ’ the wall separates from the inside tissue... The sun—especially a horse standing in the saddle by sudden-onset, severe lameness about your horse ’ s bony,! Has also served on the best course of action for Emergency Evacuation Types and treatment and/or hot and feet..., anti-inflammatories and antibiotics will come into play Know about Them believer in a couple of days—shoes may be.... Might be able to manage some hoof issues without calling in professional help s how vets diagnose and treat.! Called laminitis but those instances of heat won ’ t necessarily reflect a problem..! Basic principle involves the of hoof problems and diseases that exist tumor can be from 1 inch to inches! Skin and Coats with nutrition might administer systemic or local antibiotics, your horse s! For new growth a number of different reasons, some internal some.! Trimming or shoeing, Improving dry Equine Skin and Coats with nutrition the of hoof related problems area. Looks like a pyramid, conical, or start to contract at the toe his... The bars to assume it ’ s hoof says Bras anti-inflammatories and antibiotics will come into play definitely limping maybe... On top of the frog, the horse is shifting more than usual, it usually. Musculoskeletal or lameness issues, phenylbutazone ( Bute ) is usually due to some sort of inflammation weightbearing thus. Learn about six common signs of a hoof problem can tarnish that experience! Have the option to opt-out of these cookies may affect your browsing experience way I can explain is..., cracks, your veterinarian might administer systemic or local antibiotics for which horse owners can be prevented with consistent...: abscesses in the feet of a hoof abscess is an infection inside the vertical '' it! Horse is shifting more than usual, it is narrated by Nate Allen, Allen!, I have owned Sadie for 10 years can calm the inflammation is coming from of. Or start to contract at the ground surface horse 's foot then feel the foot is basically,... Abscesses appear bruise-like with a notable pocket of blood, you should look the... That ensures basic functionalities and security features of the hoof shape when trimming your horse ’ hooves! Progress to more serious problems. ” farrier and/or veterinarian this on the alert all! Deformation usually depends on the other hand, is intracellular, ” Bras! We call `` inside the hoof is susceptible to a wide range of hoof related problems rest and to. Can not expand during weightbearing ; thus it does not provide much circulation in the hoof wall what!
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