The next generation of flea and tick control is here

NexGard® Chewables for Dogs – an innovative oral treatment developed with new molecule, afoxolaner

By VetZone Team on 1 March 2016

Merial, a world-leading animal health company, has announced the launch of an Australian first product in the fight against fleas and ticks on dogs, NexGard Chewables for Dogs. NexGard combats fleas and ticks with an easy to administer monthly tasty chew for dogs.

NexGard Chewables for Dogs combines Merial’s years of experience and technical parasiticide knowledge into the first and only soft, beef-flavoured chew that kills fleas and ticks. This once-a-month oral formulation effectively kills both fleas and ticks, including the deadly paralysis tick, for a full month. NexGard an easy-to-give beef-flavoured chew, is a reliable and highly effective way of killing fleas and ticks all year around.

The active ingredient in NexGard – afoxolaner – is a new molecule developed exclusively for veterinary use. Afoxolaner is a member of the isoxazoline class of potent insecticides and acaricides, which are effective against numerous arthropod species, including fleas and ticks. It is fast-acting and long-lasting due to its pharmacokinetic profile. Afoxolaner is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream of dogs, and reaches peak plasma concentration within just two to four hours, with a plasma terminal half-life of 15 days.1

Recent Australian studies conducted by Merial have confirmed a high level of efficacy against fleas was maintained at almost 100 per cent for four weeks post administration2,3, while a field study of dogs in homes in New South Wales and Queensland showed a 99 per cent reduction in flea count within one month4.

In two separate studies against the deadly paralysis tick, NexGard killed more than 95 per cent of ticks within 48 hours for a full month5,6 whilst in a study against brown dog ticks, NexGard killed more than 95 per cent of ticks within 48 hours for a full month7.

Andrew Palmer, Country Manager, Merial says, “Some dog owners prefer an oral treatment to help protect their dogs from both fleas and ticks and until now, have had to settle for oral products that control fleas but not ticks. The NexGard tasty chew formulation provides vets and pet owners with a convenient option for flea and tick control and is ideal for pets that swim or are bathed regularly.”

Merial identified a need for an effective and easy-to-administer product following recent research into flea and tick control behaviour amongst pet owners in Australia. The research found that only 48 per cent of dog owners treat their pets correctly against fleas, and 82 per cent of dog owners who live in paralysis tick zones are not treating correctly to protect their dogs from the deadly paralysis tick8.

Dr Rusty Muse, an expert clinical veterinary dermatologist specialising in aetiology and management of allergic skin diseases, warns about the importance of flea control for preventing and controlling symptoms of skin allergies in dogs.

“Within my practice in Australia, I see some extreme cases of skin allergies in dogs. The addition of a flea infestation can
be a distressing combination for these pets.”

“The ability to administer treatment wholly in a simple edible chew, is an exciting development in flea and tick control and
will help to reduce the threshold of perceived itching among dogs,” concludes Dr Muse.

NexGard is highly palatable

NexGard has a proven preference ratio of 19-1 over a leading competitor9 and can be given to puppies as young as eight weeks of age, weighing more than 2kg. Afoxolaner can be given with or without food, absorption is fast and is not affected by food. The molecule has a terminal half-life of approximately 15 days, allowing it to maintain an effective plasma concentration for the full month. In addition, the molecule exhibits predictable pharmacokinetics, with studies showing no significant variation in absorption, metabolism or elimination in the dogs studied.

NexGard’s proven safety record

Before developing the final formulation of NexGard, numerous studies were conducted with an experimental oral solution of afoxolaner during which all dogs were evaluated for adverse reactions. The results of these studies confirmed afoxolaner’s potential as a safe ectoparasiticide.

A margin of safety study was conducted in healthy puppies as young as eight weeks of age. NexGard was administered at approximately 1x, 3x and 5x the commercial dose for three monthly treatments followed by three fortnightly treatments10. NexGard was well tolerated throughout the study period and there were no adverse events related to treatment.

This safety profile has been confirmed by the local efficacy studies against flea and ticks, with no treatment related adverse events seen in any of these studies including in the field trial conducted in real homes across Australia.

Paralysis Tick Statistics

Recent IPSOS research conducted by Merial found 82 per cent of dog owners who live in paralysis tick zones are not treating correctly to protect their dogs against the deadly paralysis tick, which is found along the east coast in New South Wales, Queensland and in some parts of Victoria. Alarmingly, many dog owners in these zones are either not using a tick control product at all, or are using a tick control product but not dosing frequently enough to protect their dogs from paralysis ticks11.

In addition, 57 per cent of Australian dog owners who live in a tick zone and who use a popular flea control tablet, incorrectly believe that it protects their dogs from ticks12.

“This highlights the confusion that exists amongst dog owners and the opportunity to educate them about the correct flea and tick prevention options. Merial provides a simple solution in the form of a NexGard tasty chew that can be administered monthly,” concludes Andrew Palmer.

For more information on how to protect your dog from ticks and fleas using NexGard, please visit or talk to your veterinarian.

  1. Letendre (2014). The intravenous and oral pharmacokinetics of afoxolaner used as a monthly chewable antiparasitic for dogs.
  2. Merial Data on File PR&D 233701
  3. Merial Data on File PR&D 255701
  4. Merial Data on File PR&D 234301
  5. Merial Data on File PR&D 233801
  6. Merial Data on File PR&D 255901
  7. Merial Data on File PR&D 255801
  8. IPSOS Brand Tracking Data Feb 2014
  9. Merial Data VS-USA-72401 & VS-USA-72402
  10. Drag et al (2014). Safety evaluation of orally administered afoxolaner in 8-week-old dogs.
  11. IPSOS Brand Tracking Data Feb 2014
  12. IPSOS Brand Tracking Data Feb 2014
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