The life of a pet owner is riddled with choices, from choosing the best food for their furry friend to selecting the most effective preventive care. One of the products that consistently grab attention is Nexgard – a prominent flea and tick preventive medication. However, its price tag often makes pet owners pause and wonder, why is it so expensive?
1. Product Efficacy & Safety
Nexgard has carved a niche for itself due to its effectiveness in protecting dogs from fleas and ticks. This is no accident. The rigorous testing and quality assurance measures ensure that every tablet is potent, making it a premium product.
Nexgard has undergone various clinical trials to ensure its safety profile. Such extensive research and development processes are expensive and thus contribute to the cost of the final product.
2. Research and Development
The discovery of a new product in the veterinary space isn’t straightforward. It requires substantial investment in research and development (R&D). Nexgard’s primary ingredient, afoxolaner, was the result of meticulous R&D to find a compound that’s both effective against pests and safe for dogs.
3. Duration of Protection
Nexgard provides month-long protection from both fleas and ticks. When considering the cost on a per-day basis, it often comes out more economical than other treatments that need frequent reapplication.
4. Convenience Factor
The chewable tablet format is a hit among pet owners, eliminating the messy application processes associated with many topical treatments. This convenience factor, coupled with its beef-flavored formulation that dogs typically love, justifies a part of its pricing.
5. Market Dynamics & Competition
While alternatives like Simparica and Seresto collars have been mentioned in online discussions, Nexgard has maintained a dominant market presence. Brands that dominate the market tend to have higher pricing due to brand trust and recognition.
6. Distribution & Authenticity Concerns
Given the widespread counterfeit pet product market, many vets and official channels mark up prices slightly to assure customers of the product’s authenticity. This markup contributes to its retail price, ensuring you’re getting the genuine product and not a potentially harmful knockoff.
7. Vet Recommendations & Endorsements
Vets often recommend Nexgard due to its proven track record. Endorsements from professionals always come with a price, which is indirectly reflected in the product’s cost.
8. Economies of Scale & Production
Every product has fixed and variable costs. As demand for Nexgard continues to grow, the fixed costs (like R&D) are distributed among more units, but other operational costs can fluctuate. These dynamics can impact the product’s price.
9. Exploring Nexgard Alternatives
1. Simparica (Sarolaner)
Simparica is an oral chewable tablet, much like Nexgard. Its primary ingredient, sarolaner, is known for its effectiveness against fleas, ticks, and mites.
- Quick action: Begins killing fleas within 3 hours and ticks within 8 hours.
- Extended protection: Provides month-long protection.
- Broad spectrum: Protects against a variety of tick species.
- Some dogs may experience gastrointestinal symptoms post-ingestion.
2. Seresto Collars
A long-lasting alternative to chewable tablets, Seresto collars provide protection against both fleas and ticks for up to 8 months.
- Duration: Extended protection without monthly reminders.
- Non-greasy and odorless: Ensures comfort for the pet.
- Safety release mechanism: If trapped, the collar’s design allows the pet to break free.
- Physical collars can sometimes cause localized reactions or allergies.
- The collar may lose efficacy if frequently exposed to water.
3. Bravecto (Fluralaner)
An oral treatment or topical solution, Bravecto offers extended protection of up to 12 weeks against fleas and ticks.
- Less frequent dosing: Only needs to be administered once every 12 weeks.
- Versatility: Available in both chewable and topical forms.
- Some reported side effects include vomiting, decreased appetite, and diarrhea.
- Not suitable for puppies less than 6 months old.
4. Frontline Plus (Fipronil and (S)-methoprene)
A topical solution, Frontline Plus is well-known for killing adult fleas, flea eggs, and larvae, along with ticks and chewing lice.
- Broad protection: Targets multiple stages of the flea life cycle.
- Waterproof: Maintains effectiveness even after bathing, swimming, or exposure to sunlight.
- The application can be messy and needs to be kept away from children.
- Some pets may show skin reactions at the application site.
5. Advantage II (Imidacloprid and Pyriproxyfen)
This is a topical treatment effective against fleas at various life stages but doesn’t protect against ticks.
- Effective Flea Control: Kills fleas within 12 hours of application and prevents further infestations for a month.
- Waterproof: Doesn’t wash off easily.
- Doesn’t provide tick protection.
- Potential for hair loss or skin irritation at the application site.
6. Comfortis (Spinosad)
An oral flea treatment for dogs, Comfortis starts killing fleas within 30 minutes of ingestion.
- Rapid action: Ensures quick relief for infested pets.
- No mess: Being an oral treatment, there’s no risk of residue or staining.
- Doesn’t provide tick protection.
- Some dogs may vomit after administration.
FAQs about Nexgard
What sets Nexgard apart from other flea and tick medications?
Nexgard’s distinguishing factor is its primary ingredient, afoxolaner. This compound disrupts the nervous system of pests, killing them rapidly, while being minimally absorbed in a dog’s body. Its oral administration ensures comprehensive protection without the concerns of washing or rubbing off.
Are there any side effects associated with Nexgard?
While most dogs tolerate Nexgard well, side effects, though rare, can occur. These may include vomiting, diarrhea, dry or flaky skin, and lethargy. It’s essential to monitor your pet after administering any new medication and consult with your vet if you notice any unusual symptoms.
How soon after administering Nexgard will it start working?
Nexgard starts killing fleas within 3 hours and ticks within 8 hours after administration. This quick action ensures pests don’t get a chance to lay eggs, thereby disrupting their lifecycle.
Can Nexgard be given to all breeds and sizes of dogs?
Yes, Nexgard is designed for all breeds and sizes. However, it’s recommended for puppies 8 weeks or older and weighing 4 pounds or more. Always consult your vet to determine the appropriate dosage based on your dog’s weight.
Is there a specific time of year I should be giving my dog Nexgard?
While fleas and ticks are more prevalent in warmer months, they can be a year-round concern in many regions. Many vets recommend continuous protection throughout the year to prevent infestations and the potential transmission of diseases.
Can I give Nexgard to my cat?
Nexgard is specifically formulated for dogs. Cats have different metabolic profiles, and giving a dog-specific treatment to a cat can be harmful. If you’re looking for flea and tick prevention for cats, consult your vet for feline-appropriate options.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you forget a dose, administer Nexgard as soon as you remember. Then, continue with the regular monthly schedule. Consistency is key to maintaining optimal protection against pests.
Can Nexgard be used in conjunction with other medications?
In most cases, Nexgard can be administered alongside other medications. However, always provide your vet with a list of all medications and supplements your dog is taking to ensure there are no potential interactions.
Does Nexgard also prevent heartworm disease?
While Nexgard is highly effective against fleas and ticks, it does not offer protection against heartworm. You’d need a separate medication, like Heartgard, to protect your dog from heartworm. Always discuss comprehensive preventive care with your veterinarian.
How does the cost of Nexgard compare to other flea and tick preventatives?
The cost of Nexgard often reflects its comprehensive efficacy and rapid action against fleas and ticks. While there are less expensive alternatives on the market, the pricing often factors in the proprietary formula and research backing Nexgard. Moreover, the convenience of a monthly oral chew can be a determining factor for pet owners who prioritize ease of administration.
What’s the science behind Nexgard’s effectiveness?
Nexgard utilizes the unique compound afoxolaner, which targets the central nervous system of parasites like fleas and ticks. Specifically, it inhibits GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)-gated chloride channels in these pests, leading to hyperexcitation, paralysis, and eventual death of the invaders.
Is there a generic version of Nexgard available?
There was no generic equivalent to Nexgard available on the market. Still, the veterinary pharmaceutical landscape can change, so it’s worth checking with your veterinarian or local pharmacy for the most up-to-date information.
Can Nexgard be given to pregnant or lactating dogs?
There haven’t been sufficient studies to determine the safety of Nexgard in pregnant or lactating dogs. If your dog is expecting or nursing, it’s essential to discuss appropriate flea and tick preventative measures with your veterinarian.
How should I store Nexgard chews?
Store Nexgard chews in their original packaging, away from moisture and direct sunlight. It’s essential to keep them out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
What do I do if my dog ingests more than the recommended dose?
If your dog consumes more than the recommended dose of Nexgard, it’s crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention. While Nexgard has a wide margin of safety, an overdose can lead to increased risk of side effects or adverse reactions.
How does Nexgard impact the environment?
As Nexgard is an oral medication, it minimizes environmental exposure compared to topical treatments, which can wash off during baths or swims and enter waterways. However, it’s always vital to consider the comprehensive ecological footprint of any product, from manufacturing to disposal.
Can I use Nexgard if my dog has a history of seizures?
Some reports suggest that Nexgard, like other drugs in its class, might be associated with an increased risk of seizures in dogs. If your pet has a history of seizures or other neurological conditions, consult with your veterinarian before starting any new medication.
Why does my dog still scratch after taking Nexgard?
While Nexgard is effective against fleas and ticks, scratching can be due to various reasons, including allergies, skin infections, or other irritants. If your dog continues to scratch excessively post-treatment, it’s essential to rule out other potential causes with the help of your vet.