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wormingWorming is an important part of your pet’s health care programme. Approximately 80% of Australia’s dogs and 75% of Australia’s cats carry intestinal worms. This is not surprising when you consider that some worms can produce thousands of eggs per day and some eggs can survive up to 5 years in the ground! At Gordon Vet Hospital we recommend regular worming of dogs and cats.


There are 2 broad categories of worms to eliminate and prevent –

  • Heartworm
  • Gastrointestinal worms (stomach and intestinal worms)
Heartworm Disease
What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic worm (Dirofilaria immitis) that lives in the arteries of the heart in the dog (the natural host). Over time, these worms grow in the heart and the dog can accumulate many heartworms, which act like a blockage and cause the heart not to function properly. This leads to congestive heart failure, which is a life threatening problem and can be fatal.

How can my dog catch heartworm?

Dogs catch heartworm disease via mosquitoes that have fed on an infected dog. The heartworm larvae (microfilaria) are carried in the mouthparts of mosquitoes and transmitted via a mosquito bite. Your dog does not have to be in direct contact with an infected dog to catch the disease.

How do I prevent heartworm disease?

The easiest way to prevent heartworm disease is via an annual injection called Proheart SR-12. At Gordon Vet Hospital we give the first heartworm injection at the time of desexing (6 months of age). It is then administered every year at the same time as the annual health check and booster pet vaccinations. At any stage, a dog can change from a monthly preventative to a yearly Proheart injection. Before a puppy reaches 6 months of age we recommend using Milbemax tablets monthly for heartworm prevention.

Is there a safe treatment for dogs that develop heartworm disease?

Unfortunately once a dog has congestive heart failure from heartworm disease, the prognosis is poor. These dogs are very sick and treatment itself is risky because to kill the worms that are living in the heart can cause blockages elsewhere in the body as the dead worms move around the bloodstream. Usually treatment is aimed at controlling the heart failure with medication and stabilisation rather than removing the parasites.

Gastrointestinal Worms
Should I be worried about worms in my dog?

Many puppies are born with roundworms and others are infected with worms through their mother’s milk. This can seriously affect the health of your puppy and is a risk to humans, especially young children. Puppies love to lick children’s faces and hands and worm eggs and larvae can be swallowed by children leading to nasty diseases such as hydatid cysts in the internal organs or even blindness (uncommon). So from a health and hygiene perspective, treating worms regularly is very important.

What re the main intestinal worms?
  • Roundworms (Toxocara canis)
  • Hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum)
  • Whipworms (Trichuris vulpis)
  • Hydatid Tapeworms (Echinococcus granulosus)
  • Common Flea Tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum)

Most worms are transmitted from dog to dog via the faeco-oral route, which means through licking other dogs’ bottoms or eating other dog’s faeces.

The Hydatid tapeworm can infect your pet via uncooked meat (particularly offal), so it is best to avoid feeding offal to dogs.

What is the best worming regime in dogs?

We recommend that puppies be wormed according to the following regime:

  • Every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age
  • Then monthly until 6 months of age
  • Then every 3 months for life in adult dogs

In dogs that travel frequently to the country, worming every 6 weeks with an intestinal all-wormer in adult dogs is recommended.

What wormers do you recommend?

Gordon Veterinary Hospital recommends the following intestinal worming products:

  • Milbemax Dog – This covers against intestinal worms when given every 3 months. We use it in puppies before the Proheart Injection is started.
  • Drontal – A chewable tablet given every 3 months
  • Advocate –A topical product (liquid applied to the back of the neck) for owners that do not like tablets. It covers against heartworm and fleas as well as intestinal worms (except tapeworm).


What are the common intestinal worms found in cats?
  • Roundworms (Toxocara cati, Toxascaris leonina)
  • Hookworms (Ancylostoma tubaeforme, Uncinaria stenocephala, Ancylostoma braziliense)
  • Tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum)
What is the best worming regime in cats?

We recommend that kittens are wormed according to the following regime:

  • Every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age
  • Then monthly until 6 months of age
  • Then every 3 months for life in adult cats
What wormers do you recommend?

Gordon Veterinary Hospital recommends the following intestinal worming products:

Milbemax Cat This is a small flavoured tablet

Profender – This is a topical product (liquid applied to the back of the neck) and is a great alternative for cats that are difficult to give a tablet to.

Is heartworm disease in cats significant?

Heartworm disease in cats in Sydney is rare. The natural host for heartworm is the dog but when heartworm disease does occur in cats, it is quite often fatal due to their smaller pulmonary artery size. Due to the few cases seen in Sydney we currently do not routinely recommend heartworm prevention in cats.

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Gordon Vet Hospital
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Jayna Hirani
Jayna Hirani
03:43 09 Apr 20
Quality care and advice at every visit. The staff are friendly and informative and genuinely care about your pets. I am 100% confident that my cat and dog always receive the best pet healthcare and as pet parents that's all we want.
Marianne Broeng
Marianne Broeng
23:23 28 Jan 20
Gordon Vet has looked after my golden retriever since she was 9 weeks. Everyone has been amazing and caring with lots of experience. I have been able to ask any questions and always been welcome. Even one day when she stepped on a bee in the evening, they stayed open until we got there and helped her get it out. Thanks to all the staff :-)
Lizzie Wei
Lizzie Wei
00:56 18 Jan 20
We just moved to Gordon couple month ago and need to get my cat vaccinated. We found this hospital through google and I need to say they provide excellent service and very professional! The doctor really knows cat. Highly recommended!
Lara Bisley
Lara Bisley
08:15 27 Nov 19
Exceptional veterinary hospital. I have been taking my dog here for many years and although I now live in the Eastern Suburbs, I still drive across town to see the Vets at Gordon. The staff are highly skilled, compassionate, friendly and helpful. My 9 year old dog has had 2 knee operations (1 on each knee!) and the outcome of these surgeries far exceeded my expectations. I have been incredibly impressed with the care provided during all of our visits. I would highly recommend Gordon Vet Hospital.
Eugenie Goodyer
Eugenie Goodyer
23:22 21 Oct 19
Very friendly staff. Wonderful care for all our animals A++
Jennie Keogh
Jennie Keogh
06:36 21 Oct 19
Fantastic and friendly staff who you can tell really care about your pet. Their follow up service is also very reassuring. I also board my cat with Gordon Vet and I feel very comfortable to know he's in safe and caring hands. I'm so glad I found this clinic.
Newsha Amiri
Newsha Amiri
20:24 03 Oct 19
We took our dog there and Dr. David take care of his skin issues. he was so caring and professional.
Luxe Sydney Mum
Luxe Sydney Mum
06:37 02 Sep 19
Compassionate, caring and highly skilled veterinary surgeons who treat their patients and owners with respect. The nursing and administration staff are efficient and remember their patients by name which is a lovely touch. A lovely vet practice which despite our Golden Retriever Finn’s complex medical history, is always welcoming to him and he never displays any signs of anxiety when attending. Dr Helen is lovely and a firm favourite of ours!
Lihong Xing
Lihong Xing
05:00 05 Nov 18
Highly recommend Dr David, Scott, Helen, and Catherine, I've taken my cat to see all the doctors here.
Jeremy Tarbox
Jeremy Tarbox
22:55 10 Sep 18
We found a stray, agitated dog in front of our house last night. We phoned but got no help from the Council ranger who gave two options: tie him up in front yard overnight or "let him loose, he'll find his own way home" :( So we phoned Gordon Vet: they stayed open a few minutes so we could run him up and he could have a bed and dinner. Thank you Gordon Vet Hospital, hope he gets home soon!!! :)
Vishal Kapoor
Vishal Kapoor
01:52 04 Sep 18
Really amazing staff members. Their systems and processes are also very
Gerry Stevens
Gerry Stevens
11:01 14 Jul 18
Good competant vet. Did what I needed. Staff friendly. Cat's well.
Arezu A
Arezu A
03:20 15 Feb 18
Absolutely love the service here. I switched from other Vets to this Vet as the staff here are quite attentive and really care about your furry baby! I have basically seen most of the Dr's here and all of them so far have been fantastic, friendly and fun to speak with! Easy to locate and enough parking available! 5 Stars indeed!
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