How Long Does NexGard Stay in a Dog’s System?

As a dog parent, you might have come across NexGard, a popular flea and tick treatment option. But, how long does this medication stay in your canine friend’s system? This article provides a comprehensive explanation to help you understand its workings.

What is NexGard?

NexGard is an FDA-approved chewable tablet, extensively used to treat and prevent infestations of fleas and ticks in dogs. Its active ingredient, Afoxolaner, belongs to the isoxazoline family, which works by overstimulating the nervous system of these pesky parasites, leading to their demise.

Understanding the Duration of NexGard in a Dog’s System

NexGard is designed to offer a full month of protection. Once ingested, it quickly gets absorbed and starts to kill fleas within 4 hours and ticks within 24 hours. It reaches its peak concentration in a dog’s bloodstream in about 2-4 hours post-administration. But how long does it stay there?

NexGard maintains effective concentrations in a dog’s bloodstream for up to 30 days, making it a monthly treatment. After this period, the concentrations drop gradually. However, it is important to note that the elimination of Afoxolaner can take several weeks due to its ability to bind with proteins and its slow release from fats.

Side Effects: How Long Do They Last?

Most dogs tolerate NexGard quite well, but like any medication, it may occasionally cause side effects. These can include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, and very rarely, seizures. Typically, these side effects are mild and transient, subsiding within a few days. However, if any of these side effects persist or worsen, it is critical to seek immediate veterinary attention.

NexGard and the Long-Term Health of Your Dog

When used according to label directions, NexGard does not have a significant impact on a dog’s long-term health. Despite some Internet myths, there is no evidence to suggest that NexGard can shorten a dog’s lifespan or cause chronic health problems. It has been extensively tested and approved by the FDA for the safe treatment of flea and tick infestations.

Making NexGard Work Best for Your Dog

To ensure NexGard works effectively and safely:

  1. Administer NexGard monthly, as directed by your vet.
  2. Do not split the tablet; it is designed to be given in a single dose.
  3. Ensure your dog consumes the entire dose. If you’re not sure, consult your vet about whether to re-dose.
  4. Always purchase NexGard through your vet or a reputable pharmacy to avoid counterfeits.

In conclusion, while NexGard stays in your dog’s system for up to a month, it’s safe, effective, and plays a critical role in keeping your dog parasite-free. Always consult with your veterinarian to discuss the best treatment plan for your furry friend’s specific needs.

FAQs About NexGard

What Happens if My Dog Vomits After Taking NexGard?

If your dog vomits shortly after taking NexGard, it might not have been absorbed sufficiently to provide protection. In such cases, it’s advisable to give another full dose as soon as you can. However, consult your vet for the best course of action.

Can NexGard Be Used in Puppies?

NexGard is safe for puppies aged 8 weeks and older, provided they weigh at least 4 pounds. However, it’s essential to ensure the correct dosage according to the puppy’s weight to prevent overdosage.

How Quickly Does NexGard Start Working?

NexGard starts killing fleas within 4 hours of administration and ticks within 24 hours. It reaches peak efficacy within 48 hours, ensuring rapid protection for your pet.

Can I Give NexGard to My Dog If She’s Pregnant or Lactating?

Current studies indicate no adverse effects on pregnant, breeding, or lactating dogs. However, always consult your vet before administering any medication to a pregnant or lactating pet.

Can NexGard Be Used with Other Medications?

NexGard has no known negative interactions with commonly used canine drugs. However, if your pet is on other medications, it’s crucial to discuss this with your vet before starting a NexGard regimen.

Is NexGard Effective Against All Ticks?

NexGard is effective against several tick species, including the American dog tick, Black-legged tick, Lone Star tick, and Brown dog tick. However, no tick product can guarantee 100% effectiveness. Regular tick checks are still important, especially if you live in a high-risk area.

Can I Give NexGard More Often Than Once a Month If My Dog Has Severe Infestations?

NexGard should only be administered as directed – once every 30 days. Overdosing could lead to increased risk of side effects. In the case of severe infestations, a more comprehensive pest control program might be necessary. Always consult with your vet in such situations.

Is NexGard Safe for Dogs with Seizures?

While rare, there have been cases of dogs with a history of seizures having increased seizure activity after taking NexGard. If your dog has a history of seizures, consult your vet before starting NexGard, as there may be other suitable alternatives.

Is NexGard Suitable for Dogs with Allergies?

While NexGard does not contain common allergens like wheat or dairy, some dogs might be allergic to the active ingredient, Afoxolaner. Symptoms could include itching, redness, or hives. If you suspect an allergic reaction, contact your vet immediately.

What if my Dog Misses a Dose of NexGard?

If your dog misses a dose of NexGard, administer the missed dose immediately and resume the regular monthly schedule. NexGard’s efficacy depends on consistent monthly administration, so missing a dose could leave your pet unprotected against fleas and ticks.

Can my Dog Bathe or Swim After Taking NexGard?

Yes, your dog can bathe, swim, or get wet in any other way after taking NexGard. Unlike topical flea and tick preventatives, NexGard is ingested and therefore not affected by water or bathing.

Does NexGard Protect Against Heartworm Disease?

No, NexGard does not provide protection against heartworm disease. It is a flea and tick preventative. For heartworm protection, discuss options with your vet, who may recommend a separate heartworm preventative.

Can NexGard Cause Behavioral Changes in Dogs?

In very rare cases, some dogs might experience behavioral changes, including hyperactivity, lethargy, or unusual aggression after taking NexGard. If you observe any drastic behavioral changes in your pet after administering NexGard, it’s important to contact your vet immediately.

Is Weight Important When Administering NexGard?

Absolutely! NexGard is dosed according to your dog’s weight. Accurately weighing your dog ensures you’re administering the correct dosage and not underdosing or overdosing, both of which can have negative consequences.

Can I Split a NexGard Chew Between My Dogs?

No, you should never split a NexGard chew between dogs. Each chew is designed to provide the accurate amount of medication for a specific weight range. Splitting the chews can result in underdosing, which can render the medication ineffective.

Does NexGard Kill Fleas and Ticks Instantly?

While NexGard starts killing fleas within 4 hours and ticks within 24 hours, it doesn’t mean they’ll be killed instantly upon contact. It disrupts the nervous system of these pests, leading to their death.

Can I Administer NexGard Along with Vaccines?

NexGard has been shown to be safe to administer alongside vaccines. However, every dog is unique, and the final decision should be made in consultation with your vet, taking into account your dog’s overall health status and individual needs.

How is NexGard Different from Other Flea and Tick Treatments?

NexGard is an oral medication that comes in the form of a beef-flavored chew, making administration easier and more appealing to many dogs compared to topical treatments. It also doesn’t leave any residue and won’t wash off during bathing or swimming.

Can Puppies Take NexGard?

Yes, NexGard can be given to puppies. However, it is recommended only for puppies that are 8 weeks old or older and weigh at least 4 pounds. For younger or smaller puppies, you should consult with your vet for appropriate flea and tick prevention strategies.

What Should I Do if My Dog Vomits After Taking NexGard?

Vomiting can occasionally occur after a dog takes NexGard. If your dog vomits within an hour of administration, it’s likely the entire dose has not been absorbed. Contact your vet for advice, but typically you may need to give your dog another full dose to ensure effective protection against fleas and ticks.

Can I Give NexGard to My Cat?

NexGard is specifically designed and labeled for use in dogs. There is a different product, Bravecto, available for cats. Always consult your vet before administering any medication to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for your pet.

Is NexGard a Prescription Medication?

Yes, NexGard is a prescription medication, which means it can only be obtained with a prescription from a licensed vet. This is because it’s important for a vet to evaluate your dog’s overall health and ensure the medication is safe and suitable for them.

What Should I Do if I See Ticks on My Dog After Administering NexGard?

Even after administering NexGard, you might still see ticks on your dog. NexGard kills ticks, but it doesn’t repel them. The ticks must bite and ingest the medication in NexGard to die. If you’re seeing ticks on your dog after administering NexGard, it’s important to consult with your vet, as additional tick control measures might be necessary.

Does NexGard Protect Against All Types of Ticks?

NexGard is effective against several common species of ticks, including the American Dog tick, Black-legged tick, Lone Star tick, and the Brown Dog tick. However, it might not protect against all species of ticks. Consult with your vet for comprehensive tick prevention, especially if you live in areas with high tick prevalence.

How Should I Store NexGard?

NexGard should be stored at room temperature in a dry place, out of direct sunlight. Always keep it in its original packaging until it’s time to give it to your dog, and be sure to keep it out of reach of children and other pets.

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