Is NexGard Safe?
What is NexGard?
NexGard, first of its kind, is an oral flea and tick preventative that effectively kills fleas and 3 types of ticks (the American dog tick, the black-legged tick, and the Lone Star tick), and it's a great alternative to other flea and tick preventatives like topicals and collars. It protects your dog from harmful infestations for a full 30 days with just one chewable. Coming from the reputable makers of Frontline, NexGard kills 100% of fleas in 24 hours and ticks within 48 hours. Additionally, it is effective in preventing tick-borne diseases such as Lyme, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The only downside to NexGard is that the parasites have to bite the dog to be affected by the medication, which can sometimes take several hours to take place.
How does NexGard work?
NexGard only contains one ingredient, afoxolaner, which absorbs into the bloodstream and causes uncontrolled activity in the fleas' and ticks' nervous systems, resulting in death. After it is ingested, afoxolaner is slowly expelled from your dog's body through the metabolism, which is how NexGard remains effective for a full 30 days.
What makes NexGard safe for my dog?
So, while NexGard does a great job in protecting your dog from fleas and ticks, is the chewable itself safe to give your dog? Yes, NexGard Chewables is safe to give to most dogs. More specifically, NexGard is safe and effective in dogs and puppies 8 weeks of age or older, weighing 4 lbs or more. It is advised to be used with caution in dogs with a history of seizures, and the safe use of NexGard in pregnant, breeding, or lactating dogs hasn't been evaluated.
NexGard was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013, meaning the FDA decided that the benefits of it outweigh the potential risks. It has minimal side effects, and has been shown to be safe at up to 5 times the recommended dose.
In a 90-day field study, 415 dogs were administered afoxolaner and no serious adverse reactions were observed with NexGard. The most frequent adverse reaction was vomiting, with 17 dogs experiencing that reaction. Other observed adverse reactions included 13 dogs who experienced dry/flaky skin, 13 dogs who experienced diarrhea, 7 dogs who experienced lethargy, and 5 dogs who experienced lack of appetite.
NexGard is also safe to use with alongside other medications, like your dog's heartworm medication. In another well-controlled field study, NexGard was administered together with other medications including vaccines, antiparasitic drugs, antibiotics (including topicals), steroids, NSAIDS, anesthetics, and antihistamines. Throughout the study, no adverse reactions were observed.
It's always best to talk to your vet about any medications your pet is taking.