Introduction: Put Weight on Your Dog With "satin Balls"

Picture of Put Weight on Your Dog With "satin Balls"

One of the best ways to put weight on a dog is with something called "satin balls". You can find the recipe on many sites on the internet. Some people use it to put weight on their dogs before dog shows, but it's especially good for emaciated dogs and dogs who won't eat. It's high in fat so it puts on weight quickly, but it's also got other ingredients to make it a total diet so it can be fed alone or as a supplement.

My puppy hasn't been eating much and underneath all her fuzz she's skin and bones so I decided to mix up a batch to bring her up to a healthy weight

Step 1: Gather Indgredients

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This is the original recipe:
10 pounds hamburger meat (the cheapest kind)
1 lg. box of Total cereal
1 lg. box oatmeal
1 jar of wheat germ
1 1/4 cup veg oil
1 1/4 cup of unsulphured molasses
10 raw eggs AND shells
10 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
pinch of salt

However, if you just want to try them out or have a small dog, I recipe this scaled down version (1/10th or the original).

1 pound cheap hamburger (for high fat %)
1 1/3 cups Total cereal
1 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal
1 raw egg
6 tablespoons wheat germ
1 package Knox unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
Pinch of salt

The only thing I suggest you change is the oil; vegtable oil has no health benefit, so substitute it with an oil that does (like flax seed oil which is high in healthy omega 3s).

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

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Mix everything together in a big bowl. I recommend putting the dry ingredients first, then the oils, then the egg, then the meat. That way you don't have to wash your hands in between ingredients

Step 3: Form Patties

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You can form them into balls like the name suggests. I prefer patties though because they are easier to stack in the freezer that way.

How much you put in each serving really depends on your individual dog... I made 14 patties out of the smaller portion recipe

Step 4: Freeze

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Put the patties into bags and freeze them. Since they are served raw you need to thaw them individually when you are ready to serve them.

Step 5: Serve

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Your dog will LOVE these, and you should see weight gain relatively shortly.

The only downside is that it's raw. I know that many people serve raw and I support that, but I can't but help but be paranoid about bacteria contamination. Particularly cause she takes extra special treats to her crate. So I wipe down the floor and her crate between feedings, and wash her bowl each day


Kristieblu (author)2016-06-01

I have a 8 month old pit bull female who became very sick Late in April, well took her to the vet she was having severe diarrhea and was losing weight daily. A stool test was taken and she had worms. So treated her for worms and her diarrhea, and she seemed to be doing a little better, but still losing weight. She had stopped eating and drinking and was dehydrated. I went to a 24 hr Animal Hospital, and that is where she had a full blood culture, had a blood transfusion, a liver test looking for a liver shunt, and blood work came back good except being dehydrated. She did well with the blood transfusion, she came home with an antibiotic, some medicine for Gi upset, and a prescription dog food for Gastroenteric by Purina. Well she has no more diarrhea, and she eats up to 4 times a day Only her dog food. She has not put on 1 signal pound and it hasn't even been a month. She is so skinny you can see every bone in her body. I also have a great pureness and he is just a big old puppy but he is huge and I'm afraid he will really hurt her, so I keep them separated when she has to use the restroom, or just to sun bath which she loves. I have called the vet several times in between and don't know what else we can do, nothing is showing up in any tests, but I have noticed that her gums are almost like they were when she was severely dehydrated. I have been giving her water by syringe every hour on the hour, with no changes, I have called the vet again and now just waiting for the doctors pow wow to be over. They are getting outside advice from another vet on what might be wrong. This has happened very sudden, I have had her since she was 7 weeks old, and she was a healthy little butter ball and had energy just like a puppy does, but now she has lost all that spunk and looks pitiful. I don't know what else to do, but I don't want her to suffer that is for sure, but sadly I think she is. Afraid to try anything that might upset her tummy and start the diarrhea all over again. I have done any and everything boil chicken and rice, chicken broth, honey. That was before her rx food, even was told to give her Pepcid by the vet and it worked for a short time. Feeling hopeless please help someone. I really don't want to say the d word but am I making it worse by keeping her alive to suffer, she acts so lifeless it breaks my heart, and I talk so softly to her cause I don't want to scare her, and she has my whole entire bed I have just a corner, its like having a newborn all over again, except she cant tell me whats wrong. I really can not take any rude comments, because she is under a vets care, I am an emotional wreck and cant take that right now.

YvonneE12 (author)Kristieblu2018-01-12

This sounds like Addison's disease to me. My Dane/Mastiff mix had this disease and it requires steroids. Get her checked for this disease and prayers for her.

DawnS143 (author)Kristieblu2017-02-11

I just saw your post and I hope she is better but if not, check out EPI. My German shepherd was not gaining any weight and had constant diarrhea. Her obedience trainer told me to have her checked for EPI. Most vets don't even recognize this issue. The website will tell you about gathering her stool and sending it to Texas A&M. It is the only place that test for this. It was $200 and at the time I couldn't afford that so I just bought the Enzymes for EPI. And it's been about 3 months and I can tell a big difference. The Enzymes are about $50. And completely worth it. Hope she gets better!!!

RiverB1 (author)Kristieblu2016-07-01

Your dog should see a Gastro specialist (Canine). It sounds very much like a mal-absorption issue. An endoscope would show the condition of the gut and bowel.. Much better than just guessing whats wrong. I hope she gets well..

LeilaT6 (author)Kristieblu2016-06-06

Kristie, have you had any improvement with your puppy?
I have a couple of suggestions if you would like to message me on Facebook.
Leila Thomason

NormaH17 (author)2018-01-11

Hi, my Dog is highly allergic to any type of wheat. So can I leave the wheat germ out or substitute. It with something else ?

TxTania (author)2017-04-23

How much is too much? I have a Great Dane that is a year old, vet said she's fine, large breeds have a two year growth period, she's gaining weight, 130lbs, however, I can see her ribs!!! I can count them....... I do not like it, and her hair is shedding like crazy. Two bets said her blood work is fine, no worms, no GI problems. Just super skinny...... can I make the one tenth portion and feed it to her for breakfast everyday ?!?!
a few seconds ago

DebbieF80 (author)TxTania2017-12-30

Cooked oatmeal mixed in her food will make her gain weight and also very good for her coat. I have a boxer that was under weight and itchy skin and oatmeal worked very good.

KayPenn (author)TxTania2017-10-12

I have a 5 month old Mastiff and although he weighed 50lbs a month ago he is a very picky eater both dry and canned foods, he eats enough to get by so to speak... I started my own version of this and he has put on 10lbs in 3 weeks. I use 5lb roll of cheap hamburger bought at Walmart, 1pk unsalted crackers, 1 dozen lg. eggs crushed in shell and all, 2 packs cream cheese, 1 cup uncooked oats, 5oz Salmon Oil and 4 cups of his dry kibble ran through the blender to form a powder, And mix all these ingredients together like I am making a meatloaf. I measure mine out in a 1lb container and then wrap with foil but slightly mash down to form a patty. I keep two in the fridge at all times , if you feed one pull one from the freezer to replace it so you always have it unthawed for the 24 hr period. I feed it to him raw, one patty in the morning and one before bed and he gets dry kibble if he eats much of it throughout the day. He loves it, and if I have it when I make a batch I mix in chopped chicken thighs skin and all, and if you have a way to chop them up you can add the bone as well, uncooked bones are good for your dog its after they are cooked they splinter. My recipe is through trial and error but I guarantee your pup will eat it. If you want to mix things up a bit, lightly pan sear the patty to release flavors and smells but cook it rare. Once your dog starts to get where he should be weight wise, just give one 1lb patty a day to maintain but weigh often and dont let him get overweight. Good Luck

NoenoeB (author)2017-11-20

Aloha - Adding crushed eggshells may not be such a good idea as they contain Salmonella which comes from the chicken itself, most of which carry salmonella. I am prone to getting this disease and so wash my hands after handling an egg--it seems that the shell is the one contaminated but not what is inside the egg once it is cooked. So just to add a note of caution to the use of eggs and eggshells.

DebraS30 (author)2015-11-10

Hi, This is great, however I have changed one thing in this recipe along with using a healthy oil (I use Hemp Oil or coconut oil), and that is I would never use the cheapest hamburger meat available. Cheap meat is cheap because the cattle have been given hormones and antibiotics and fed a cheap diet. An undernourished dog is already an unhealthy dog, so I only use grass fed beef or free range chicken/turkey that has never had antibiotics or hormones. It's more expensive, yes, but Walmart now carries a brand of grass fed beef that is affordable. Regardless, it's worth it because you'll have fewer vet bills.

TerryG42 (author)DebraS302016-03-13

Cheap meat is cheap because of the fat content or the ratio of gristle and cartilage in the meat. The reason a tougher "chuck" steak is far less expensive than a "rib eye". Cheap hamburger is the same and you actually want the higher fat content in the cheaper burger. That is why the recipe calls for it. The term "Grass fed" for beef is mostly a selling term and not at all honest. Feedlot beef, the cheap cows you are referring to, are raised in a pasture (on grass) until they are ready for the next stage of growing them for slaughter (feedlot pens and corn) That qualifies them legally for the term "grass fed". Just like putting "Gluten Free" on bottled water. It's not what you think but it sounds good. The only beef that is raised 100% on pasture and has had nothing but grass it's whole life is called "Grass Finished". Rather expensive and hard to find. If you find beef labeled grass fed and it states it is from a specific farm with a website, then look up that farm and see if they discuss their feeding practice. If you find grass fed beef at Walmart (LOL) I can absolutely guarantee you that it is NOT what you think.

AmandaG62 (author)TerryG422017-03-26

not sure if you can taste a difference but i can, i buy my meat from either the butcher or straight from the farm this last time. the farm was far better than the butcher and walmart meat i havent bought in FOREVER.

zapfreeze (author)AmandaG622017-03-28

Your dog will like any kind of meat no matter where it comes from. If you want to switch or use an ingredient that isn't in the recipe then expect your results to be different as well. If you switch to lean ground beef I think they may turn out to just be expensive dog treats.
It's not worth getting your pet expensive meat unless they're on a raw food diet already. Giving your pet grass-fed ground beef once when it eats dry food the rest of the time isn't really going to do much to improve its health anyway.

AmandaG62 (author)zapfreeze2017-03-28

I was talking about the meat I buy for myself, my dog would NOT be getting that meat!! lol my dog aint gonna care what cow the meat came from

Muddywoman2 (author)2016-10-20

The vet is correct,,,please listen,,,cook the meat

Muddywoman2 (author)2016-10-20

I think these are suggestions that should be research,,, I worked as a meat cutter for 9 years,,, the meat that is used for ground is all the beef that is just about to go baf

StevenW35 made it! (author)2016-07-09

Thank you I found a couple of pounds of old burger in my freeze and made a batch for my 2 year old lab

KarinB8 (author)2015-09-19

i've made this a couple days in a row so far, the "raw" issue doesn't bother me. i just think about how dogs survive(d) in the wild before (and after) they were domesticated. i was just wondering if anyone has tried a bit of plain yogurt, or smashed up some carrots, sweet potato, and/or blueberries. i'm going to supplement the recipe unless some one voices a concern about any of the above. i use honey, too. how about an actual calcium supplement? i thought about crushing a couple in the mixture.. haven't yet. i know the egg shells probably wouldn't hurt but i'm too scared to try it!! i get paranoid about the goofy dogs swallowing something sharp. i'll feed this to my bear bear until he looks good and WILL re-post. also, i have NOT done a fecal test yet but thought these treats couldn't hurt!! if he has parasites, i'll treat that and continue the satin's!

Aunt Jane (author)KarinB82016-05-31

We used to go to a local butcher shop and buy the bone dust and scrap that came from the saw to give ours extra fat and calcium. Never asked the vet if it was a good idea but it seemed be give them a nice shiny coat.

MUSTLUVDOGS (author)KarinB82016-05-07

I know this is an old thread but just wanted to say, I feed a homemade diet to my Miniature Pinscher, as well as a foster I took in who was severely emaciated, and not doing well at the local shelter I volunteer at due to her fear of men. She has since put on some really healthy weight and has really come back to life. For the egg shells bit, I am a huge supporter and believer in using eggshells for a pure source of calcium. I thought maybe this information would be helpful. When I make food for my dogs I always boil the eggshells after I make the eggs and once they dry I grind them in a coffee grinder until they are in powder form so I don't have to worry about the sharp bits. I hope this helps someone!

spross (author)MUSTLUVDOGS2016-05-12

I am also fostering an emaciated dog..a goldendoodle about 20# underweight.

How long did it take before you saw results?

JoanneL28 (author)2016-04-16

Quick quest on raw to lipstic

JoanneL28 (author)2016-04-16

Quick quest on raw to lipstic

desaad37 (author)2015-09-28

I should have added that my dog is a wolf dog and not a standard dog breed. She's mid-content so her stomach is built for it. #LunaTheWolfdog

SusanK79 (author)desaad372016-03-28

My son has a high content wolf dog looks just like yours! she is getting older and she has a hard time keeping any weight on. She is very picky eater, I am def going to try these on her! THANKS!!

GiovannaM (author)desaad372015-11-10

beautiful dog, love those viscious teeth!! lol

LillianO1 (author)desaad372015-10-06

Luna is beautiful!!! may she howl at the moon for many years to

LoraW3 (author)2016-03-23

could you not cook them? My dog has short bowel syndrome and I'm not keen on feeding her a raw diet. She has a hard time digesting some foods and will eat her poop if it smells good enough (sorry about TMI)

LisaM64 (author)2015-09-10

I have a Japanese Chin with 4 week old pups on her. I noticed that she's getting too thin from feeding babies last week, so searched for a natural remedy.
I made, these, and she LOVES them!
I however, substituted wheat germ oil for the veg oil and wheat germ, and rice chex for the total. Also substituted a local dark honey for the molasses.
I don't get how there's all the controversy over cooked or not, yet not a question about using eggshells though? I get the calcium benefit, but powdered milk, or cottage cheese are just as good for that! Nonetheless, im thankful for finding this!
Thanks for recipe!

TerryG42 (author)LisaM642016-03-13

Get rid of the Rice Chex and go back to the Total. Follow the recipe. The total is there for it's nutritional benefit and Chex is a 0 in that department. The egg shells *are* the added calcium. Use the molasses for the same reason. Many things in molasses and 0 in honey. Dogs are intolerant of dairy and it's not good for them. If you are just using this for treats, then messing with the recipe won't hurt any. If you are using them as a source of nutrition you need to follow the recipe.

SherryS26 (author)2015-11-29

I have made this recipe myself, as well for others. I don't skimp on quality of meats, I never add salt. Forget the Knox gelatin. For protein, I used 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds, flax seed meal. I serve these frozen treats. Where others serve as food. Even adding coconut oil, or hemp oil.
Gojo berries grinding up. All excellent source vitamins.

TerryG42 (author)SherryS262016-03-13

If you are using them as treats, then use the high end meat. But, if you are using these as a diet supplement or to put weight on, you do need the fat content in the cheaper burger. Adding berries is an excellent idea. Use dried ones instead if fresh to avoid the extra fluid that would make these a mess to handle.

TerryG42 (author)2016-03-13

Been using these for years and "Yummy Nummy" is what the dogs say. Thank you for posting the smaller amount breakdown. I make mini balls with this and use it for training treats and good behavior reinforcement. I make them and lay them out on a cookie sheet on waxed paper. Freeze the whole sheet full and then bag the frozen balls in one bag. They break apart easily and I'm not using up a lot of plastic bags. My scrawny rat Siberian Husky will eat these when she thumbs her nose at canned and dry food. She is an extremely high energy dog and it's impossible to keep weight on her. Rather that feed her entire balls, I sometimes break them up into small bits and mix the bits all in with her dry food. Depending on her mood, she will then eat the whole bowl of food .. or .. root out all the tasty bits leaving the kibble behind and make a mess. :)

muttdoc (author)2016-02-15

This Instructable is insulting if you care about dogs. How about seeing a vet to know what might be going on with an emaciated dog? Sure it might cost more than this, but delaying treatment only costs more in the long run, not to mention suffering for the dog. Then maybe if the vet approves, use this to address the symptom. Dogs, and especially small dogs, can get pancreatitis from high fat foods. So satin balls could compound the the problem!! And BTW, dogs can't use the omegas in flaxseed to make the appropriate fatty acids, like people can, so really no benefit to flaxseed over vegetable oil.

TerryG42 (author)muttdoc2016-03-13

Actually, your reply is ignorant and uninformed at best. If you have a dog, you are expected to KNOW your dog as well as know what is good for it. I have huskies and one is a terribly picky eater. Unless she is fed something like this she would be skin and bones. Yes, emaciated would be a proper term. There is nothing wrong with her, she chooses not to eat for all the wrong reasons. I can not afford to feed her a raw diet and these, as well as some high quality canned food, do a terrific job of supplementing her meals, getting her to actually eat AND keep weight on her. The fat in these is obviously not enough to cause pancreatitis if you actually knew anything about the disorder. Flax seed oil is fine. Fish oil would be better but your statement that dogs can not use flax oil for conversion to EPA and DHA is also untrue. They can, just not efficiently. Flax oil is also beneficial for improving skin and coat condition, helps with constipation as well as other benefits. Perhaps you can use your internet skills so obvious here and Google "Satin Balls" and do some more reading. I'm sure you will find it quite educational.

wyrdwoman (author)2016-03-09

I don't understand the need to be so negative. My vet is a homeopathic vet with many additional years of training and she reccomends raw food. It is pricecy so I wasn't able to keep it up though I saw improvements in my old guy. I did find that he (my old guy) didn't do well with wheat so I acted accordingly. I have had people tell me to get rid of my dog because finding a rental is complicated. I wouldn't dictate anything to anyone. I may suggest a concern or speak about my experience. Where does this impolite and ignorant (literal not figurative definition) come from? I don't know why the venom? I find it disturbing and I hope I have helped my own adult (now) child to speak up with compassion consideration and respect. I won't discourage him from expresssing himself but there is something in the idea of if you haven't anything nice (polite) to say don't say anything at all. I love my dog and I can tell everyone unequivically that he matters more to me than he could to anyone else. My old guy died at 16 a few years ago and my new little guy is very different and I use all the resources I have available to me especially my vet. I care about his well-being. I want to encourage everyone to do their research though it is often likely to lead in opposing directions. You will do right by what you love by the very fact that you love. Be well and take care.

JanineK3 (author)2015-12-28

My dog would not eat these raw. I cooked at 350' for 15-20 minutes and now she loves them.

DebraS30 (author)2015-11-10

ps Actually I forgot that I also throw in some brewer's yeast, lecithin granules, and bone meal :-)

desaad37 (author)2015-05-14

Dog stomachs are much different than ours. Most of them are built to be able to handle the bacteria just fine. Some breeds you have to be more cautious with, but for most of them they will do great on a raw diet. Mine will bury her meat outside and dig it up days later while it's rotting and eat it and I've never had any bacterial problems with her. She's always been given a clean bill of health each time she goes to the vet.

Willio_S (author)desaad372015-10-17

You also have to be careful with raw poultry because of the risk of contamination with the salmonella bacterium that live in the bird's intestines. It's true that dog's guts and immune system are built to handle bacteria differently than ours. A healthy adult dog with a mature immune system will rarely, if ever, become ill from salmonella. The problem is that it doesn't leave their system, but instead it settles in and grows in their intestine. It still doesn't make them sick, but they start to shed Salmonella through their feces. It then winds up in our yards and houses and where there is a risk that it can make the pet owner sick (just think about the last time you caught your dog eating poo the next time she comes to lick your face). This is especially dangerous in infants and young children who are at increased risk of salmonella poisoning. I'm not saying that you shouldn't feed your dog raw chicken, just be aware of the risk and handle her poop with respect.

Willio_S (author)desaad372015-10-17

Also, that is a beautiful, healthy, and happy looking dog.

Willio_S (author)desaad372015-10-17

Interesting discussion. I am in favor of the raw diet too, but I agree that it should be done properly, especially when dealing with ground beef. The issue with ground beef is that during the grinding process multiple body parts from multiple cows are all fed together into an industrial scale meat grinder. It is at this stage when there is a high risk of bacterial contamination of meat batches, specifically with e. coli from the cows' gastrointestinal tract. The e coli then continues to grow and multiply during shipping and storage and, when it arrives on your dog's plate, it can be at a much higher bacterial load than they would ever encounter in nature. This is also different than a old carcass that they dug up which would have a mixed microbial population (some of which are healthy) that your dog's stomach is probably more accustomed to dealing with. Also, some e. coli strains are particularly dangerous such as EHEC (entero-hemorrhagic e. coli). These strains are more frequently a byproduct of food contamination and are not commonly found in nature, but, if your dog did come across EHEC or another aggressive strain, it would make her really sick regardless of the source. Now we do have food quality and processing regulations to help avoid such contamination and, as a result, the risk is minimal but it is still there. This is why we're told to be extra careful when cooking ground beef.

When feeding your dog raw ground beef, a safer way is to buy beef chuck at your grocery store or butcher and have them grind it up fresh. It's also better quality and more delicious meat, I highly recommend trying this for your own cooking also.

HollyB8 (author)2015-09-30

I will try this recipe but I choose to probably boil it just long enough to make sure there is no possible chance of salmonella, my dog is weak enough and I know would not be able to fight it off, so I will do my changes, but I am stating what I believe without being rude, I am sure if you have a point to make you can find a way to do it without coming out as a know it all and being disrespectful, I'm pretty sure she knows how to treat her dog, as she stated he is wolf, their systems are just a tad different, I am sure that she is up on things, but I guess you will continue to believe the way you want, and that is fine but if you are going to be rude, may I suggest you take it somewhere else unless you are going to talk civil

desaad37 (author)2015-09-29

Actually, I do. I have friends who hunt and give me left over meats for her, I also have bought from many other places other than just supermarket meats. She now mainly eats chicken and I do have a meat grinder which I use to mash up butcher meat and vegetables for her. What degree do you have to say that I'm not feeding my wolfdog properly? She's extremely healthy and even the vets question what I feed her because of how amazing her coat is and how much energy she has. Just because you read something online saying it's not okay doesn't mean it's 100% correct. There are many factors that go into feeding a raw diet and what works for one animal may not work for another. I suggest you studying to become a vet if you feel the need to tell people what's right and wrong about what someone is doing with their pet. Luna has NEVER been sick from the food she eats and trust me, she's had some pretty rancid dead animals before. If she even so much as got a belly ache from what I was feeding her, I'd change it immediately but she's doing amazing... On top of all that, I've worked with exotic pets for over 15 years. I think I have some knowledge beyond a standard pet owner...

lipstic (author)desaad372015-09-30

Actually I am certified in Canine Health and Nutrition by the University of California Davis Extension. So I think you can step back down. Purposely feeding your dog rancid food is animal abuse, there is no arguing on that. If you would have read my comments I stated feeding raw food from the grocery store is not what the raw diet calls for. I am not against raw; I feed my girl appropriate raw food from a small local farm. Meat at the grocery store was not intended to be consumed in such a way so they do not have to be as careful with contaminates and handling since majority of contaminates will be cooked off making the meat safe. Feeding THAT to your pet as this recipe calls for is extremely dangerous not just for them but for you handling it as well. I'm not sure how much more I can spell it out for you. RAW GOOD, GROCERY STORE MEAT BAD.

cooper929 (author)2015-09-08

I have an 8 year old pointer mix suffering from liver and kidney issues--losing a lot of protein. he is on a ton of meds including antibiotics and an immuno-suppressent. Is it still safe to give him the raw hamburg and raw eggs that are in this recipe? He has lost SO much weight and its a struggle to get him to eat ANYTHING.

lipstic (author)cooper9292015-09-25

NO!!!! Kidney issues usually need low protein diets. Please talk to your vet they should have told you this.

TrinityD1 (author)2015-09-24

Help! My Dane is allergic to oats, eggs, chicken, peanuts, turkey, milk, corn. And he's losing weight! Any ideas on foods that will fatten him up? And yes he is under vet care so please no negative comments.

lipstic (author)TrinityD12015-09-25

When did he start loosing weight? Has he been checked for worms? What food is he on? Always remember that your vet is probably not a nutritionist as that is not part of the requirements to graduate. Just like human doctors. If you like send me a message and I will do my best to help you out. I am certified in canine nutrition however I am not a vet.

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