If you’re a dog owner, the health and well-being of your furry friend are always paramount. With the myriad of pet products available today, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. One such product making waves is NexGard. But, is NexGard truly safe for your canine companion? Let’s delve into it.
What is NexGard?
NexGard is an oral chewable tablet designed to protect dogs against fleas and ticks. It contains the active ingredient, afoxolaner, which targets the nervous systems of these pests, rendering them paralyzed and ultimately leading to their death.
Rigorous Safety Testing
NexGard has undergone comprehensive safety testing. In many cases, dogs were given up to four times the recommended dose without any significant adverse effects. This showcases its high safety threshold.
Scouring the depths of the internet, especially platforms like Reddit, will showcase a mix of reviews. While some owners have been using NexGard for years without any issues, a few have reported mild side effects. However, it’s vital to note that side effects are rare.
Possible Side Effects of NexGard
No drug is 100% safe. The potential side effects of NexGard, while rare, include:
- Dry or flaky skin
However, the likelihood of your dog contracting illnesses from fleas and ticks is significantly higher than the minor risk posed by NexGard.
“Natural” vs. “Chemical”
A debate that often crops up in pet circles is the distinction between “natural” and “chemical” treatments. It’s essential to remember that many natural substances, like certain essential oils, can be harmful to pets. NexGard, being a chemically synthesized product, has been designed with a pet’s safety in mind.
Your veterinarian has your pet’s best interest at heart. They’re equipped with extensive knowledge about various products and their safety profiles. If they recommend NexGard, it’s based on a combination of scientific research and practical experience.
Conclusion: NexGard – A Safe Bet?
When weighing the pros and cons, NexGard emerges as a trustworthy choice for most dogs. The minor risks associated with it are overshadowed by the potential health problems that unchecked fleas and ticks can cause.
However, like with all medications, monitor your pet closely after administering NexGard for the first time. If you notice any adverse reactions, consult your vet immediately.
In conclusion, while the internet is a treasure trove of information, always approach pet-related advice critically. Trust in scientific research, trust in your vet, but most importantly, trust in the bond you share with your furry friend, as it will guide you to make the best decisions for their well-being.
FAQs about NexGard Safety
1. How does NexGard work?
NexGard contains the active ingredient afoxolaner. When ingested, this compound affects the nervous system of fleas and ticks, leading to their paralysis and eventual death. As an oral treatment, NexGard ensures that your dog is protected without the need for topical applications.
2. How often should I give my dog NexGard?
NexGard is designed to be administered once a month. Consistent monthly dosing ensures optimal protection against fleas and ticks throughout the year.
3. Can puppies take NexGard?
Yes, NexGard can be given to puppies as young as eight weeks old and weighing at least 4 pounds. However, always consult your veterinarian before starting any new medication.
4. Are there any breed-specific concerns with NexGard?
While NexGard is generally safe for all dog breeds, certain breeds might be more susceptible to medication sensitivities. Always inform your veterinarian about any breed-specific health concerns, so they can offer the best guidance.
5. What should I do if my dog shows an adverse reaction?
If you notice any unusual symptoms or behaviors after administering NexGard, contact your veterinarian immediately. Symptoms can range from gastrointestinal disturbances like vomiting or diarrhea to more severe reactions, although the latter is rare.
6. Can I use NexGard in conjunction with other medications?
In most cases, yes. NexGard has shown no known negative interactions with commonly prescribed dog medications. However, always discuss with your veterinarian when considering combining treatments.
7. How long does NexGard take to start working?
NexGard starts killing fleas within 8 hours of administration and ticks within 24 hours. This rapid action ensures minimal discomfort for your pet.
8. Does NexGard protect against all types of ticks?
NexGard is effective against various tick species, including the Lone Star tick, Black-legged tick, American dog tick, and Brown dog tick. Its broad-spectrum protection ensures that your dog is shielded from the most common tick threats.
9. Can I bathe my dog after giving NexGard?
Absolutely. Unlike topical flea and tick treatments, NexGard is an oral medication, meaning its efficacy isn’t affected by bathing or swimming.
10. Can NexGard be given to pregnant or lactating dogs?
The safety of NexGard in pregnant, breeding, or lactating dogs has not been evaluated. If your dog fits any of these categories, consult with your veterinarian before administering the medication.
11. If my dog is on a special diet, can they still take NexGard?
NexGard is a flavored chewable tablet and doesn’t interfere with dietary restrictions. However, if your pet has known food allergies or sensitivities, discuss the ingredients with your vet to ensure safety.
12. How is NexGard different from other flea and tick medications?
NexGard is a chewable oral medication, unlike many topical treatments. This means no mess on your dog’s coat and no need to isolate your pet from children or other animals after application. Its active ingredient, afoxolaner, targets adult fleas and several tick species with precision.
13. Are there any long-term side effects of using NexGard?
While most dogs tolerate NexGard well, as with any medication, there can be side effects. Long-term side effects specifically linked to NexGard haven’t been identified in official studies. However, always observe your dog’s behavior and physical health and report any unusual changes to your vet.
14. Can I give NexGard to my cat?
No, NexGard is specifically formulated for dogs. Cats have different physiological responses to medications. Always ensure you’re using species-specific treatments.
15. What happens if I miss a dose?
If you forget to give your dog a monthly NexGard dose, administer the tablet as soon as you remember. Then, adjust the subsequent dosing schedule by a month from the recent dose, ensuring a consistent 30-day protection interval.
16. Can my dog overdose on NexGard?
While rare, it’s crucial to give the correct dosage based on your dog’s weight. An overdose could result in more pronounced side effects, such as vomiting or lethargy. If you suspect an overdose, contact your vet immediately.
17. How should NexGard be stored?
NexGard should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and direct sunlight. Ensure it’s kept out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
18. Is NexGard effective worldwide, or are there regional variations in its efficacy?
NexGard’s formulation targets a wide range of flea and tick species common in various parts of the world. However, certain regions might have specific pests not covered. It’s wise to consult with local vets, especially if you’re moving or traveling with your pet.
19. How does NexGard affect fleas and ticks at the lifecycle stage?
NexGard primarily targets adult fleas and ticks. By killing these adults, it interrupts the life cycle, preventing them from laying eggs and proliferating.
20. What should I consider if switching to NexGard from another treatment?
Before transitioning, discuss with your vet to ensure there’s no overlap that might result in over-medication. Monitor your dog for any reactions during the switch, as their body adjusts to the new treatment.