Merial has announced that Nexgard Spectra has now been licensed to prevent lungworm in dogs, making it the only product which deals with lungworm and ticks (not to mention fleas and roundworm).

The company says that until now, veterinary surgeons wanting to protect pets against both lungworm and ticks have had to prescribe multiple products, often with different methods of administration and/or treatment frequencies, leading to potential client confusion and issues with compliance. Being able to use one beef-flavoured chew will, it says, make things much simpler.

NexGard Spectra contains afoxolaner, an isoxazoline effective against ectoparasites, and milbemycin oxime for lungworm prevention and the treatment of GI roundworms, such as Toxocara

Merial highlights data which indicates an ever-increasing threat to dogs in the UK from lungworm and ticks: Angiostrongylus vasorum is spreading across the UK, with prevalence in foxes rising from 7% in 2005 to 18% in 20141,2. The risk of exposure to ticks has increased, with a recent study showing that nearly 1 in 3 dogs were found to host ticks3, compared to around 1 in 7 dogs in a previous study4. Cases of the potentially fatal tick-borne disease Babesiosis (carried by the tick vector Dermacentor reticulatus) are also being diagnosed in un-travelled UK dogs5.

Lynda Maris, NexGard Spectra Product Manager, says that the changing patterns mean both parasites have become higher priority risks in many practices: "Until now vets have had to recommend combinations of products, or make a choice about which parasite represents the greatest risk in their area – ticks or lungworm. But as both parasites have changed their behavior, the risk of exposure has increased across the country.

"Now just one tasty chew will address both lungworm and ticks, meaning that pet owners don’t have to concern themselves with administering different products and vets know that in the face of a rapidly changing situation there is a simple way to make sure their patients are protected."

The company also highlights a recent vet practice sampling campaign5, in which 79% of dogs took NexGard Spectra readily or like a treat. More than 90% of respondents to the survey said they would be likely or very likely to recommend it to their clients. 

NexGard Spectra can be used from 8 weeks of age in puppies weighing more than 2 kgs, and is very well tolerated, including by MDR-1 mutant collies, where studies showed no treatment-related changes even at five times the maximum dose. It is available in packs of three chews, with five different presentations to ensure accurate dosing according to bodyweight (2-3.5 kgs, 3.5-7.5 kgs, 7.5-15 kgs, 15-30 kgs and 30-60 kgs).

For more information, contact your Merial Territory Manager, call Merial on 0870 6000 123, or visit


  1. Taylor et al (2015) Parasitology 142 (9) 1190-1195.
  2. Morgan et al (2008) Vet Para 154: 48-57.
  3. Abdullah et al (2016) Parasites & Vectors 9: 391
  4. Smith et al (2011) Med & Vet Entom 25, 377-384.
  5. Swainsbury et al (2016) Vet Rec 178, 172

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