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September is Arthritis Prevention and Awareness Month!

As pets get older, they often move around less. Yet as the saying goes, “age is not a disease.”  Up to 30% of adult cats and dogs are affected by arthritis.  Because it is often overlooked, arthritis has been called a “silent epidemic.”  How can you tell if your pet has arthritis?

In people, arthritis can just "show up" with age. In pets, it is most often the result of another condition or an injury. Many dog owners have heard of hip dysplasia, a common form of hip arthritis.  Arthritis can affect any joint, most commonly hips, knees and elbows. A tear of the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) will lead to arthritis of the knee.  Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is an ongoing condition that damages cartilage. This leads to pain, swelling and inflammation (irritation) in one or several joints. The end-result is lack of range of motion, muscle loss, decreased mobility and lameness.

Signs of arthritis in pets include reluctance to walk or jump (e.g. onto a favorite couch, into the car or on your kitchen counter), difficulty doing stairs or playing a favorite game, or trouble getting up. Limping is very common. Crying out in pain may be noticed. Some vague signs can also be noticed, such as lack of appetite and restlessness. In cats, a classic but often ignored sign is a decrease in grooming.

Visit the links below to get some more information on arthritis in both cats and dogs!

Creaky Cats: Feline Arthritis

Arthritis in Dogs


Hermitage Veterinary Hospital is Becoming Fear Free!

In an effort to help lower stress on our visitors (and their owners!) we have made a few changes around the hospital. This includes:

  • Cat only exam room.
  • Adaptil or Feliway diffusers in each room to dispense pheromones to help calm your pet.
  • Clinically proven calming music in each exam room to help your pet.
  • Our reception waiting area has been partitioned off into a dog only area and cat only area. This is to help reduce the stress cats can get from being around dogs in an already unfamiliar location.


                                  Cat Waiting Area                                   Dog Waiting Area


Dr. Purcell Receives ABVMA Award

Communications Award - Dr. Ted Purcell 

It is with great honour to present the Communications Award to Dr. Ted Purcell. Dr. Purcell graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1982. Upon graduation he started at the Hermitage Veterinary Hospital where he has been since then. He has helped the practice grow from a small 2 vet practice to a large 8 vet practice and I've had the privilege of working with him for 20 of those years

When I was a new graduate he was always there to mentor me. He helped teach me how to communicate with clients, how to deal with difficult clients and was always there to help when my communications failed. Over the last 20 years I have seen his patience with all of the staff from volunteers to vets.  He is a firm believer in the veterinary team and cares about the lives of every staff member. 

His dedication to clients is amazing. He takes the time to know all his clients on a personal basis and develops a bond with both the client and pet. He takes the time to ensure that every question they have is answered both in an appointment and and on any follow up calls (which has resulted in many late nights). His clients are very loyal and will wait weeks to see Dr. Ted. 

He has promoted the veterinary profession through the media as the host on "Calling All Pets" and as the Pet Ambassador for The Edmonton Humane Society on Global TV on Wednesdays for years. TV, radio and news reporters all look to him as a valuable and reliable source of information. He is recognized in the community as a promotor of veterinary medicine.

He is a huge believer in community involvement. He has gone to many career days and reading week events at local schools promoting the veterinary profession to children of all ages.  He has coached many basketball teams.  He has served on a Medical Ethics board. He is an Investigator for the ABVMA. He has been on the board of the Glenrose Foundation including serving a term as its chair. Education and participation are two of his core values. 

His dedication to and promotion of veterinary medicine deserves to be recognized. His ability to communicate with staff, clients, colleagues and the community are the reason he is so successful. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Purcell on this well deserved award.

-Dr. Kim Romanufa

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Watch Dr. Purcell Wednesdays @ 8:45am on Global TV Edmonton

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