NexGard, a popular flea and tick preventative for dogs, is praised for its efficacy. However, like all medications, it can occasionally come with side effects. Pet owners, naturally, want to know what to expect and how long any potential side effects might last.
What is NexGard?
Before understanding the side effects, it’s crucial to understand the product itself. NexGard is a chewable tablet designed to protect dogs from fleas and ticks for 30 days. It contains the active ingredient afoxolaner, which affects the nervous system of fleas and ticks, causing their death.
Common Side Effects of NexGard
Although NexGard is generally well-tolerated by most dogs, some might experience side effects. The most commonly reported side effects include:
- Vomiting: Some dogs might vomit after consuming the tablet, especially if they’re not used to it.
- Diarrhea: Loose stools or diarrhea have been noted by some pet owners.
- Lethargy: A decreased level of activity or drowsiness can sometimes be observed.
- Itching: Some dogs might experience itching or skin irritation.
Duration of NexGard Side Effects
Now, let’s delve into the heart of the matter: how long these side effects might last.
Immediate to 48 Hours Post-Administration
- Most side effects, if they do occur, tend to manifest within this window. For example, a dog might vomit shortly after consuming the tablet or develop diarrhea within the first 24 to 48 hours.
- It’s worth noting that a significant number of pet owners on platforms like Reddit have mentioned side effects subsiding within 48 hours. In one particular case, a user mentioned their dog experiencing diarrhea every 45-60 minutes for 36 hours post-administration, after which the symptoms subsided.
Beyond 48 Hours
- While many side effects tend to subside within the initial 48-hour window, there are isolated reports of dogs experiencing prolonged symptoms, extending for a few days. For example, lethargy or soft stools can sometimes last 2-3 days, as mentioned by some Reddit users.
- If side effects extend beyond 72 hours, it is highly recommended to consult with a veterinarian.
Factors Influencing Duration of Side Effects
Dosage: Administering the correct dosage as per the dog’s weight is crucial. Overdosing can exacerbate side effects.
Dog’s Health: A dog’s overall health and any existing medical conditions can influence how it reacts to NexGard.
Age: Puppies or older dogs might be more sensitive and can potentially experience prolonged side effects.
What to Do If Your Dog Experiences Side Effects?
Monitor closely: Keep a close eye on your dog, especially in the first 48 hours after administering NexGard.
Hydration: Ensure your dog has access to clean water, especially if experiencing vomiting or diarrhea.
Consult a veterinarian: If side effects are severe or prolonged, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian. They can provide guidance, reassurance, or recommend treatment if necessary.
NexGard, while an effective treatment for fleas and ticks, can have side effects in some dogs. Most of these side effects are mild and tend to subside within 48 hours. However, it’s essential to be aware, monitor your pet, and seek expert advice if you have concerns.
FAQs About NexGard Side Effects
1. Can NexGard cause skin reactions in dogs?
Yes, some dogs may experience skin reactions after taking NexGard. These reactions might manifest as redness, itching, or even hives. It’s essential to monitor the dog’s skin, especially if it’s their first time taking the medication. If skin reactions are severe or persistent, a visit to the vet is recommended.
2. Are there any long-term side effects associated with NexGard?
While the majority of side effects are short-lived, some pet owners have raised concerns about potential long-term effects, such as liver or kidney issues. However, there’s limited scientific evidence supporting these claims. Always communicate with your vet regarding any long-term concerns.
3. How should I administer NexGard to my dog?
NexGard is a chewable tablet and can be given directly to your dog to consume. For dogs reluctant to take the tablet, consider hiding it in a treat or their food. Ensure the entire tablet is consumed for effective protection.
4. Can I give my dog another flea and tick preventative while on NexGard?
It’s essential to avoid “doubling up” on treatments unless directed by a veterinarian. Mixing medications can increase the risk of side effects or adverse reactions.
5. What if my dog is pregnant or lactating?
There’s limited information on the effects of NexGard on pregnant or lactating dogs. It’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian before administering the medication in such cases.
6. Is it safe for puppies?
NexGard is approved for puppies that are at least eight weeks old and weigh 4 pounds or more. As with all medications, monitor puppies closely after administration to ensure they don’t experience any adverse reactions.
7. Can NexGard interact with other medications?
While NexGard is not known to have significant interactions with most medications, always inform your vet about any other drugs, supplements, or treatments your dog is receiving.
8. What should I do if I suspect an overdose?
If you believe your dog has consumed more than the recommended dosage, monitor them closely for any signs of distress or unusual behavior. It’s advisable to contact your veterinarian immediately or visit an emergency animal clinic.
9. How often should NexGard be administered?
NexGard is a monthly treatment. It’s crucial to adhere to this schedule for continuous protection against fleas and ticks.
10. Is it normal for fleas to increase after administering NexGard?
Some pet owners report seeing more fleas on their dogs after administering NexGard. This is typically because NexGard stimulates fleas, causing them to rise to the top of the dog’s fur before dying. The increase should be temporary, and the fleas should die off within a few hours to a day.
11. Can environmental factors influence NexGard’s side effects?
Environmental stressors, such as changes in temperature or exposure to new allergens, might exacerbate or mimic side effects of NexGard. Always consider the broader environment when assessing potential side effects.
12. Are there any breeds particularly sensitive to NexGard?
While most dogs tolerate NexGard well, individual dogs (regardless of breed) might have sensitivities. It’s always best to monitor any dog closely after introducing a new medication.
13. What’s the active ingredient in NexGard, and how does it work?
The active ingredient in NexGard is afoxolaner. It affects the nervous system of fleas and ticks, leading to hyperexcitation and, eventually, death. This mechanism targets pests without harming dogs, given the prescribed doses.
14. Can my dog experience gastrointestinal disturbances with NexGard?
Yes, some dogs might experience gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or diarrhea after taking NexGard. If these symptoms are persistent or severe, consult with your veterinarian.
15. Are there any behavioral changes to watch out for after administering NexGard?
While rare, some dogs might exhibit behavioral changes, such as lethargy or increased agitation. It’s essential to observe your dog’s demeanor and energy levels after any new medication.
16. How should I store NexGard?
Store NexGard in its original packaging, away from moisture and direct sunlight. Ensure it’s out of reach from children and pets to avoid accidental consumption.
17. What’s the difference between NexGard and other flea and tick preventatives?
Different preventatives employ various active ingredients and mechanisms. It’s vital to understand each one’s advantages and potential side effects. Consult with a vet to determine the best option for your pet.
18. Can I administer NexGard to cats?
NexGard is specifically designed for dogs. Cats have different physiologies, so always consult with a veterinarian for feline-specific treatments.
19. What if my dog spits out or vomits the NexGard chewable?
If your dog spits out the chewable soon after administration or vomits shortly after, they might not receive the full dose. Consult your veterinarian about when and if you should administer another dose.
20. Should I be concerned about resistance building up in fleas and ticks?
Like all treatments, there’s a potential for pests to develop resistance over time. Regularly switching between different classes of preventatives, as advised by your vet, can mitigate this risk.
21. Can environmental changes influence how NexGard works?
Factors such as increased exposure to fleas and ticks in wooded areas or during certain seasons might necessitate closer monitoring after administration, though the medication’s effectiveness remains consistent.
22. How does NexGard fare in dogs with existing health conditions?
Dogs with pre-existing conditions, especially related to the liver or kidney, might react differently to medications. It’s crucial to provide your vet with a comprehensive health history before starting any new treatment.
23. Are there any known interactions between NexGard and vaccinations?
Currently, there’s no known adverse interaction between NexGard and routine canine vaccinations. However, it’s always a good practice to inform your vet of all treatments your pet receives.
24. Can dietary changes impact the efficacy or side effects of NexGard?
A dog’s diet can influence overall health and drug metabolism. If you’re making significant dietary changes, monitor your pet closely after administering NexGard and discuss any concerns with your vet.