Recently, River Road Veterinary Clinic has chosen to add another great product to our arsenal of flea and tick prevention medications. These preventatives are very important to your pet’s health. All dogs and cats that go outside should be treated with a preventative medication. Although the risk of fleas and ticks decreases during the winter months it is important to remember that fleas often thrive inside during the winter months and ticks are out looking for a blood meal any time the temperature rises above freezing. If you do choose to stop these medications during the winter it is advisable to start up again in March.
Nexgard chewables are a once monthly treat given to prevent fleas and ticks in dogs only. The beef flavored soft chew is very palatable and almost all dogs will take it as a treat. Nexgard is distributed by Merial, the same company that distributes Frontline Plus. The obvious advantage to Nexgard is that it is a chewable medication, so it is much easier to ensure that the entire dosage of medication has been given appropriately. Sometimes the topical products are difficult to apply to a wiggling dog or very hairy/fluffy animal. Additionally, since this is not a topical product it does not leave a greasy residue on the haircoat and swimming/bathing poses no problem.
Potential side effects of Nexgard include vomiting, diarrhea, and dry skin. During the trial studies these side effects occurred in less than 1% of all dogs. Nexgard should not be used in dogs with a history of seizures as it may increase their frequency.
The active ingredient in Nexgard is afoxolaner, a new drug that is not used in any other flea/tick medications currently on the market. Afoxolaner enters the blood stream and does not penetrate to the surrounding tissues so fleas and ticks DO need to bite your pet to be affected by the medication. Fleas are typically killed within several hours, while ticks are killed within 1-2 days. It is important to note that Nexgard does not repel ticks. In some cases this means biting and attaching to your dog for up to 48 hours. The tick should be killed before they are attached to your pet long enough to transmit disease. Nexgard is proven to kill all tick species seen in this area including deer ticks, dog ticks and lone star ticks.
If you have any questions regarding the best choice of preventative flea/tick medication for your cat or dog please do not hesitate to call us at River Road Veterinary Clinic.