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 Post subject: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:32 pm 
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I just got home from the dermatologist with Maddie, and she has been diagnosed with Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker Spaniel. We have a new treatment plan, I am going to run out in a little bit to get the rest of her medication...

Dr. Jeromin was awesome - I really actually enjoyed going out there and talking to her. She was very thorough, and of course Maddie loved her too :gig She gave me a bunch of information on it, and explained it very well, but I haven't found anything else about it online. In Maddie's case, her body isn't absorbing or using (I can't remember how exactly she worded it, I'll have to get the papers) the Vit A correctly and that's how she's deficient... not from her diet (my FIRST question lol) but we Will have to supplement as a part of her treatment plan...
http://www.dermatologyforanimals.com/vitamina.html
Anyone else have a cocker who has this? Just wondering of course & wanting to compare experiences :wink

I'm very pleased that I did not get the run-around, and was listened to, and (hopefully) found some real answers!!! She actually noticed some things that I did not notice (or know to look for) and things really added up... I'm also happy that we're off the Strong antibiotic - Maddie will be happy about that, too.
Oh, and the funny thing, is Dr. Jeromin went to school with one of the vets at my vets office and shared some interesting stories :ROFL

Thanks for reading! :joy

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:05 pm 
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This is great news :Clap It must have been a great feeling listening to the Dr and things finally making sense. I hope the treatments works well and that Maddie feels 100% better soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:03 pm 
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Dana - It is great when we are listened to. It is also great when we get answers. I hope this gives her the relief she needs. :paw

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:41 pm 
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:YAY Awesome! :YAY

I'm so glad you liked Dr. Jeromin! I was worried that my memories puffed her up too much LOL nice to know that she's still as wonderful as I remember! Sounds like you have a plan! I read the article ... very interesting! I've never heard of this problem... but leave it to a Cocker to have it!

I hope and pray that this is the solution to Maddie's problems! Keep us posted!

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:06 pm 
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:TYou

Lisa R wrote:
:YAY Awesome! :YAY

I'm so glad you liked Dr. Jeromin! I was worried that my memories puffed her up too much LOL nice to know that she's still as wonderful as I remember! Sounds like you have a plan! I read the article ... very interesting! I've never heard of this problem... but leave it to a Cocker to have it!

I hope and pray that this is the solution to Maddie's problems! Keep us posted!

:gig I told my mom on the way there (she came along for the long ride :wink ) that I hoped I didn't have my hopes up TOO high that she wouldn't be "up to my standards" if you know what I mean

But, I think she exceeded my expectations!! :Clap We talked Cockers and the cocker rescues for a bit. She took down some information about the rescues from me because she said some of her clients ask her if she has any breeder recommendations and she'd love to point them in the rescue route instead! We even talked about that show Last Chance Highway :happy

I've heard of somewhat similar issues with Vit A, but never this. Leave it to a cocker... unfortunately, so true!! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:50 pm 
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Hi Dana,

This is great news and I am hoping for you and Maddie that you have found your answer to her problems. :joy

I am wondering if you could elaborate a little more about Maddie's diagnosis and how long it took to get the results. Our Chloie Pearl is very, very itchy. She is on Hydroxyzine (an antihistamine) and it does help her, but it also tends to make her drowsy. :bang

If Chloie has a vitamin A problem, I would like to know what tests need to be done for her. It seems like every household with a Cocker Spaniel has an itchy doggie. :evil

Thanks so much and (((Hugs))) to Miss Maddie,
Dawn

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:29 am 
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Don't you just love it when your vet listens to you, analyzes the information and prepares a good plan for treatment!! :joy

This is wonderful news for both of you. :YAY

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:31 am 
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Hi Dawn :hi

I'll try to elaborate without being too confusing or writing a book :gig
A lot of it was ruling other things out. I had a total blood panel done before the derm appt, mainly because I was thinking she may have a thyroid problem, and my vet wanted to rule out things like cushings. She'd also been on a elimination diet (not vet likely food, but we tried it, and it did nothing for her). She'd been on several different antibiotics and anti-fungal meds, but it kept coming back because it was secondary infection to the primary cause, we just hadn't figured out what that was yet.

Maddie was also on benedryl - the vet told me I could give it up to 4x a day :shock: (I typically stayed at 2x a day) but it didn't really do anything for her but make her dowsy and maybe a little bit less itchy.

I'll quote:
"The diagnosis of vitamin A-responsive dermatosis is made by first ruling out other more common causes of crusty, scaly skin lesions such as bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections. Depending on symptoms, evaluation for environmental or food allergies may be necessary. Biopsies of affected skin show marked excessive scaling of skin and hair follicles (orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis)."
A skin biopsy would answer it for you, for sure. But a good dermatologist should be able to tell by looking, and when the treatment works you know its a done deal. Dr. Jeromin told me that we could do a biopsy if I wanted to, but she KNEW that this is what it is, so it would be unnessisary in her opinion to put Maddie under and put her through that, plus she felt it would be a waste of money (something that I can not afford to be wasting :ROFL: )
"Skin lesions include plugged, dilated pores/follicles, crusts,and crusty plaques especially on the ventral and lateral chest and abdomen. The crusty area may have protruding fronds of keratin, and hairs in affected areas are encircled by clumps of skin cells (follicular casts). The haircoat may be dull, dry, scaly, and secondary bacterial yeast infection are common, causing odor and itching. The ears may be affected by excess wax accumulated and inflammation."
Now, Maddie's ears are clear (she even commented on how pleased she was they were so clean - and I was not able to bath or clean out her ears 2weeks prior to the appt :Clap ). She also did a skin scraping to elminitate walking dandruff, mites, and all that.

But there's these waxy plaque things at the root of the hair, on the skin (follicle) -- they look kind of like waxy soap flakes -- that is the main symptom I guess. Dr. Jeromin parted the ear hair at the tip of Maddie's ear, and showed me that they were there, too. And when you pick at it, the hairs attatch to that follicle fall out too easily (if its progressed as far as Maddie's, anyway) :sad which explains why I felt Maddie's hair was "falling out in clumps" because of plugged pores & waxy plaque.

She explained that the growth & repair of the skin is in a cycle of 28 days (or something like that, don't quote me LOL it was a lot of information in one day haha) but in cases like Maddie's, with Vit A Responsive Dermatosis, the cycle rushes to something like 8 days and and so the skin isn't... healthy... I guess you could say because its not using Vit A appropriately.
"Vitamin A-responsive dermatosis is an incompletely understood disorder of skin proliferation and maturation (keratinization)"

Vit A problems also can effect vision, and appitite ~ which Maddie has been acting like she is starving (even more so than usual) which I was relieved Dr. Jeromin listened to me when I said this, and also asked questions about that... The 2nd OP vet I went to was more or less "its a cocker thing" when it comes to food :ROFL Which I know is true, but I KNEW something was "off" with my baby, and I'm soo glad to have some answers :joy

But, it is an American Cocker Spaniel thing, with only a few cases reported with Labs... From what I'm reading (online) its pretty rare I guess.
:wow learn something new everyday


Anyway, Dawn, if you have a dermatologist in your area (mine was a 45min drive, approx, but SO WORTH it) I would highly recommend a visit :th-up ... even if its not Vit A Responsive Dermatosis :wnk

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:47 am 
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Dana,

That is incredible! I wonder if it's more common than we think but simply not diagnosed because we brush the symptoms off as typical Cocker allergies!

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:44 am 
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I was wondering the SAME exact thing... Because other than Maddie's reoccuring infections and a gut feeling, dandruff was one if her only consistant symptoms, and that's all it looks like to me on the surface, "just" dandruff.

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:50 am 
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Wow, the things I learn here. I am so glad your baby is okay and you and your vet got to the bottom of this. Thank you for posting and sharing this info here.

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:47 am 
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Hi Dana. So what do you have to do - just give her some vitamin A capsules/caplets everyday??


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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:11 pm 
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Thanks Dana,

Your explanation is much more specific than I could have hoped for. From what you are describing, the skin condition is much more like what Moonbeam has instead of Chloie. :dk

Before Moonbeam had contracted IMHA, I had her skin all cleared up for about a year. But, now that she is being weaned off of the Prednisone, her skin troubles have returned (two fold). We recently put her on Ciprofloxacin and Thyroid medication and it appears that her skin is clearing up. And, some new hair is growing back where she was almost bald on her butt.

I am going to do a blood panel on Chloie to see what we find and then maybe on to a Dermatologist too. I do believe that there are some in our area as I have looked into this last year.

Thanks again for your explanation and I sure a hoping that your Maddie will be all ‘ship shape’ in a few short weeks.

Regards, :nw
Dawn

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:14 pm 
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My Holly was first diagnosed with Vit A deficiency. I supplement her with Vit A and D twice a day. I read in a website that there is a specific kind that has to be tablet and not capsule. I never could find tablets. Last year Holly was put on Soloxine for Hypothyroidsm. Even though the skin problems continued. Finally since the summer and after visiting the dermatologist, she was placed on antibiotic( a different one) and I change her diet to no dairy, wheat, soy or corn. I also stopped the antihistamine as she stopped itching. There is a lot out there regarding the Viat A deficiency. Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:35 pm 
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Your very welcome :bg I know how frustrating skin issues can be. I've been following your posts about Moonbeam's IMHA, too(I lurk a lot more than I post...) and I'm soo grateful for this forum; so we can all learn from each other (& the support from the cocker community is awesome too :smch )

I believe there's a difference between the Responsive Dermatosis and the deficiency :dk Not sure. But, I'll have to do some reading about those tablets. Dr. Jeromin wrote down specific instructions for me, and I went to two stores before I found what I wanted :gig I was pleased that they weren't very expensive. *whew* LOL

Jackie B. wrote:
Hi Dana. So what do you have to do - just give her some vitamin A capsules/caplets everyday??


Yes... and treating the (secondary) infection itself right now. I'll try and copy down what's written for me

-Ketoconazol 1/2 tabled MWF (preferably 1/4 tablet 2x a day MWF) -- for yeast probs
-Stop Cephalexin, Start Lincocin 1 tablet 2x a day, I have to call and report back to her how that's going every so often -- for bacteria inf
-Weekly baths Douxo Seborrhea shampoo, 2x the first week, then once a week until its under control then stagger (or as needed)
-* Vit A 8,000iu 2x daily
- Omega (EFA #90) once a day (keep an eye on that and report back when reporting with the Lincocin too)

......she was previously on the Keto 1/2 a pill 2x a day and Cephalexin 200mg 2x a day(I believe thats the mg) and it wasn't really helping, it was just mostly bothering he stomach. And pharmaseb baths 2x a week 10mins direct contact time. I'm glad we're done with that :OMY The Douxo shampoo smells sooo much better than that other stuff :ROFL:

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:07 am 
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Dana: My Vet also gave Holly several trials of Cephalexin for almost 3 years. Then When I went to the Dermatologist he also gave Holly a round of Cephalexin. Then on her follow up he repeated it, did a biopsy and called m,e back to change to Primor and stop giving her Cephalexin. I know this is a very frustrating problem. Good luck, which the skin problems stop. Holly is having 5 spots that are back with the problem. Let see.

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:54 pm 
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Omega (EFA #90) once a day

Hi - what does the #90 mean?


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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:57 am 
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Are you aware of Zymox Otic? Stocked with all veterinary distributors, so any DVM can order, and many hospitals do use...as well as many cocker rescue groups whom know about. Among the ten best selling items on 1 800 Pet-Meds, and if you go to Amazon there are over 450 5 star reviews on this product. No side effects so can not cause deafness and goes after all microbes...even resistant ones...and cases where prevented ear ablation surgery! Even used by Holistic DVMS as no antibitoics or drugs. Amazing product...and can be used long term as a prevetnative as well. Do the homework and search on line and see yourself what pet owners say or ask your DVM to look into. The shampoo and rinse is also the best for chronic itchy skin...


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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:58 pm 
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Jackie B. wrote:
Omega (EFA #90) once a day

Hi - what does the #90 mean?


I had to go look at the bottle, because I didn't know :gig EFA stands for Essential Fatty Acids and #90 meant that there was 90 soft gels in them (which I didn't know, to be honest)

:TWag

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:36 pm 
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Dana: I want to let you know to check what are the ingredients of the Vit A you are using. I am not sure if I told you one of the recommendations for skin problems on dogs is to go on wheat free, corn free, soy free and dairy free diet. Well guess what? There are some Vit A makers that use soy bean oil to make the vitamins. I just want to let you know as I know there are different Vit A ingredients and kinds.

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:21 pm 
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may holly wrote:
Dana: I want to let you know to check what are the ingredients of the Vit A you are using. I am not sure if I told you one of the recommendations for skin problems on dogs is to go on wheat free, corn free, soy free and dairy free diet. Well guess what? There are some Vit A makers that use soy bean oil to make the vitamins. I just want to let you know as I know there are different Vit A ingredients and kinds.

:TYou
Thank You for bringing this to my attention! I ran over to the medicine cabinet and looked at my bottle. Thankfully, it says No artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, yeast, starch, soy or gluten. *Whew!* But now I know when I get more to check the label before I buy again! :hi

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:44 am 
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I am the owner of a 4 yr. old female cocker, Suzie Q and after a visit to the Vets yesterday we think she may have Vit. A responsive dermatosis. Suzie has been flaky and itchy since we brought her home from the Breeder. She constantly licks and bites at her paws, rubs her bottom on the floor..eeekkkk! and scratches where ever she can. The area around her bum and tail is hairless and calloused (all this time we thought her frequently full anal glands were the problem). She has had these intermittent dry red pimpIes at various spots on her body which turn oily and flaky and eventually require an oral antiobiotic and antifungal. Fortunately these spots do clear up with meds, but reoccur more often than not. Although we have not seen a Dermatologist, we have found a wonderful young Vet here in Southwest Florida who has really worked to find a resolution. It has been a long road of allergy testing, shots, food elimination (including a home cooked diet), antibiotics, antifungals, shampoos, and 4 or 5 Vets who continued to say "it's just a Cocker thing" eek! As of yesterday, Suzie has been taken off her antibiotic and antifungal meds and started on 12,000 I.U. of Dry Vitamin A caps once a day ( she is 31 lbs.) For those who were asking, I bought them at the Vitamin Shoppe and it is their brand. It is called Non-Oily Dry A. I was instructed to give it once a day with a slightly fatty meal. Although she normally eats dry food, it was suggested that if I buy the same kind in a canned form, there would be sufficient fat. I am so hopeful that this is the answer as quite honestly I never thought it was a food or environmental issue. I'll keep you posted! Debbie


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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:45 pm 
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Wow Debbie - what an ordeal! I know how you feel, its been a long, frustrating, haul with vet trips. I am grateful that my vet never dismissed me with an "its just a cocker thing" - that is SO frustrating!!! I'm glad you didn't stop with that, and I hope that you've found answers, too.

Maddie has been on her meds not quite two weeks now. Dr. Jeromin said it could take 2mos before we started seeing "real" results, but I can already tell a little bit of a difference. Maddie has no knew spots, or redness. Her darkened skin is slooooly starting to lighten. In one spot on her chest, it is looking less and less black, and more and more pink... Her hair hasn't started to grow back in those spots yet, though. She's been less itchy, with the exception of yesterday (REALLY itchy yesterday).

The problems we are having now is upset stomach due to the antiboitics and ketoconazol. She's only got a couple more weeks on the antiboitic, though. And, I think the Fish Oil is causing her to have pasty stool (sorry for that image!) so I may have to cut back on that dosage if the pumpkin doesn't help.


You mentioned that Suzie boot scoots across the floor, and I couldn't remember if I mentioned that or not... Maddie did that, too. She still is :(

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:36 pm 
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Debbie: I am sorry nyou are going through so much with your Cocker. I have posted multiple information on skin problems with Holly. The only thing I ca tell you is
#1 Check your Vit A. ingredients. No soy please.
#2 Diet: no corn, no wheat, no barley, no dairy, no soy
#3 Frequent baths with medicated shampoo
#4 Give antihistamine
I have been through a long road with Holly and after 11 years we are getting it right. I nfeed her Natural Balance and Avoderm.

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 Post subject: Re: Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis in the American Cocker
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:23 am 
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I wanted to post an update on how Maddie is doing :th-up
Maddie's done with her treatments for the secondary infections. She is still taking Vitamin A twice a day, and the fish oil once a day.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here we go!
Before: :sad
Image
Image
Image
Maddie had huge bald spots, was very itchy and miserable, and blackened skin - even her nose and muzzle was darkened.

1 mo after the dermatologist and treatment began:
Image
You can see her nose/muzzle has returned to normal, and the bald spot on her chest is no longer raw, and the hair is starting to grow back.

And this is now, almost 3mos later
Image
Her bald spot has lots of hair now, the very middle has peach fuzz :tg
Image
Image

Even the hair on her back looks less patchy, smoother, and let me tell you she's soooooo soft :love
Also, she isn't shivering anymore like she was. And I haven't seen her butt scooting, either.
I am happy to report that we've found her "cure" and she's well on her way to recovery :joy :YAY

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