Flea and tick infestations in dogs are more than just irritating; they can lead to severe health issues ranging from allergies to severe diseases. Luckily, there’s a range of preventative treatments available, with Bravecto and Nexgard standing out as popular choices. But how do they compare, and which one is best for your dog?
Understanding Flea and Tick Preventatives: Bravecto and Nexgard
Before we dive into the comparison, it’s essential to understand what Bravecto and Nexgard are. Both are oral treatments administered to dogs to prevent flea and tick infestations.
Bravecto: This product contains the active ingredient fluralaner. Administered every 12 weeks, Bravecto effectively eradicates fleas and ticks by disrupting their nervous system, leading to their death.
Nexgard: Containing the active ingredient afoxolaner, Nexgard offers similar benefits but is administered monthly. It also targets fleas and ticks, leading to their eradication.
Efficacy: Which Works Best?
Both Bravecto and Nexgard are renowned for their efficacy. They work rapidly, with Nexgard killing 100% of fleas within 24 hours and Bravecto within 12 hours. When it comes to longevity, Bravecto edges out with its 12-week protection period, compared to Nexgard’s one month. Both treatments are effective against fleas and ticks, with specific variances depending on the local parasite population.
Side Effects: What are the Risks?
As with any medication, both Bravecto and Nexgard carry potential side effects. These typically include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and lethargy. More rarely, both have been linked to instances of seizures in dogs, but these tend to occur in dogs with a previous history of seizures. It’s important to consult with a vet about any pre-existing conditions your pet may have before starting any new medication.
Cost Comparison: Bravecto or Nexgard?
The cost of these treatments can vary based on dog size and location, but typically, Bravecto, given its longer efficacy period, might seem more costly upfront but may prove more economical over time. Nexgard, being a monthly treatment, has a lower immediate cost but accumulates over the months. Ultimately, the choice may come down to your budget and preference for a monthly or quarterly dosing schedule.
Final Thoughts: Bravecto vs Nexgard
Choosing between Bravecto and Nexgard comes down to personal preference, budget, and your dog’s specific needs. Both offer effective protection against fleas and ticks, but differ in their administration schedule, which might impact your decision.
It’s essential to remember that what works best for one dog might not suit another. Therefore, it’s always best to consult with a vet to make an informed decision about the right flea and tick preventative for your dog. With the right treatment, you can keep your dog safe, healthy, and free from pests, no matter which product you choose.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I switch between Bravecto and Nexgard?
Yes, you can switch between Bravecto and Nexgard. However, it’s crucial to maintain the correct dosage frequency for each. Always consult your vet when changing your pet’s medication to ensure the transition is safe and effective.
2. Can Bravecto and Nexgard be used together?
As both Bravecto and Nexgard serve similar functions, using them simultaneously is generally unnecessary and can potentially lead to overdose. It’s always best to consult with a vet before starting, changing, or combining any medications for your pet.
3. How do Bravecto and Nexgard work?
Bravecto and Nexgard work by interfering with the nervous systems of fleas and ticks. The active ingredients (fluralaner in Bravecto and afoxolaner in Nexgard) inhibit nerve impulse transmission in these pests, leading to their death.
4. What are the application methods for Bravecto and Nexgard?
Both Bravecto and Nexgard are oral treatments, meaning they come in a chewable tablet form. This makes administration simple and avoids the mess of topical treatments.
5. Are there any age or breed restrictions for Bravecto and Nexgard?
Bravecto is approved for use in dogs six months of age and older, while Nexgard is approved for use in dogs eight weeks of age and older. Both medications are safe for use in any breed, provided the dog is of appropriate age and weight for the dosage. Always consult with a vet for breed-specific considerations.
6. Are Bravecto and Nexgard effective against other parasites?
While both Bravecto and Nexgard are primarily designed to control fleas and ticks, they also have efficacy against some other parasites. For instance, Nexgard is effective against the mite that causes mange, while Bravecto can control several types of ticks not covered by other treatments. Always consult your vet about your dog’s specific parasite protection needs.
7. How quickly do Bravecto and Nexgard start working?
Both Bravecto and Nexgard start working within hours of administration. Nexgard kills 100% of fleas within 24 hours, while Bravecto accomplishes this within 12 hours.
8. What should I do if my dog experiences side effects?
If your dog experiences side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, or lethargy after taking Bravecto or Nexgard, contact your vet immediately. While side effects are generally mild and temporary, any adverse reactions should be evaluated by a professional to ensure your pet’s safety.
9. Can pregnant or lactating dogs use Bravecto and Nexgard?
While no adverse effects have been reported in pregnant and lactating dogs using Bravecto or Nexgard, it is always crucial to consult your vet before administering any medication in such scenarios. Animal studies have shown no evidence of harm, but adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant or lactating dogs have not been conducted.
10. How do I know if Bravecto or Nexgard is a better fit for my dog?
The decision between Bravecto and Nexgard should be based on your dog’s specific needs, lifestyle, and the local prevalence of fleas and ticks. Your vet can provide the best advice tailored to your pet’s situation. Some factors to consider are the duration of efficacy, the type of parasites prevalent in your area, your pet’s age, weight, and overall health.
11. What happens if I miss a dose of Bravecto or Nexgard?
If you miss a dose of either Bravecto or Nexgard, administer it as soon as you remember. Then, continue with the regular schedule as directed by your vet. However, try not to miss doses since this can create a window of opportunity for fleas and ticks to infest your pet.
12. Can Bravecto or Nexgard cause behavioral changes in my dog?
There’s no concrete evidence to suggest that Bravecto or Nexgard can cause behavioral changes in dogs. However, individual animals may react differently to medications. If you notice any unusual behaviors in your dog after administering these medications, contact your vet for advice.
13. Are Bravecto and Nexgard safe for use in dogs with a history of seizures?
While the risk is low, there have been reports of dogs with a history of seizures having an increased risk of seizure activity when on these medications. If your dog has a history of seizures or other neurological disorders, discuss this with your vet before starting Bravecto or Nexgard.
14. What if my dog vomits shortly after taking Bravecto or Nexgard?
If your dog vomits within a few hours of taking Bravecto or Nexgard, it’s possible the medication has not been adequately absorbed into the body. Contact your vet for guidance; they may recommend administering another full dose.
15. Can I use Bravecto and Nexgard together?
It’s usually not recommended to use two systemic flea and tick preventives together. Both Bravecto and Nexgard have broad coverage against these parasites, and using them simultaneously could increase the risk of side effects. If you feel the current treatment isn’t working, consult your vet before switching or combining products.
16. Can Bravecto or Nexgard be used in conjunction with heartworm medications?
Both Bravecto and Nexgard are safe to use with most heartworm preventives. However, always consult your vet before starting any new medications to avoid potential drug interactions.
17. What should I do if my dog shows severe side effects after taking Bravecto or Nexgard?
If your dog shows severe side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, or any other unusual behavior after administering Bravecto or Nexgard, immediately contact your vet or an emergency veterinary clinic. They can provide appropriate treatment based on the symptoms.
18. Can I use Bravecto or Nexgard for my puppy?
Bravecto can be used for puppies over 6 months of age and weighing at least 4.4 pounds, while Nexgard can be used for puppies over 8 weeks of age and weighing at least 4 pounds. Always consult your vet to ensure the medication is suitable for your puppy.
19. Can I give my dog Bravecto or Nexgard if they are on other medications?
While Bravecto and Nexgard are known to have a high degree of safety and are generally compatible with many other medications, it’s important to discuss your dog’s complete medical history and current medications with your vet. They can make an informed decision about the safety and efficacy of these preventatives in conjunction with other drugs.
20. How long does it take for Bravecto and Nexgard to start working?
Bravecto begins to kill fleas within two hours and ticks within twelve hours after administration, whereas Nexgard kills fleas within four hours and ticks within twenty-four hours. Therefore, both products offer quick protection against these pests.