Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.
What is Colloidal Silver for Dogs?
Why use colloidal silver for dogs? Colloidal silver has been used by doctors and surgeons from the early 20th century, but its use then started fading around the 1940s due to the popularity of modern antibiotics. It consists of silver particles suspended in liquid which were proclaimed to be a form of alternative medicine and a cure-all for many maladies. It was used a disinfectant before the discovery of antibacterial soap and in wound dressings to prevent infection. In churches, silver chalices were utilized for Holy Communions because they were believed to prevent the spread of disease in the congregation.
Colloidal silver was discovered by accident when storage containers made of silver were found to be seeping silver particles. Royalty have been eating and drinking from silver utensils and chalices for many years. It's believed the term "blue blood" derived from mild argyria found in European nobility. In ancient Greece, it was believed that the noble who ate from silver utensils were less likely to be ill compared to those who ate from ceramic or iron. Interestingly, before refrigeration was used, it was common practice to drop a silver coin in a container of milk to prevent early spoilage. Cowboys used to do the same, dropping a silver coin in their canteens with water.
Today, many people believe in the benefits of colloidal silver and many claim it to be capable of fighting more than 650 disease causing organisms. There are many claims that colloidal silver is capable of helping people heal from serious diseases such as fungal infections, tuberculosis, HIV, MSRA, herpes, and even cancer. Its mode of action is by boosting the immune system and making it more effective in fighting disease. It's quite natural that the use of colloidal silver has also been considered to treat pets from many maladies whether triggered by bacteria, fungi or viruses. Read on to discover controversial issues and some uses for colloidal silver in dogs.
The Colloidal Silver Controversy
As with many holistic remedies and alternative medicines, some remedies are subject of controversy. Colloidal silver is one of the them. There are those who swear by it making claims of it curing even serious diseases, while others claim it's just a hype and can even be dangerous to use. For instance, Ted Epperly, a doctor and president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians, claims in an article for Web MD "The effects of colloidal silver are toxic and cumulative, worse, they're irreversible." He then talks about colloidal silver's capability to turn skin a grayish-blue color, a condition known as "argyria" and possible cell damage and organ failure.
Then on the other hand, you have people like Byron J. Richards, a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist who who has used colloidal silver in his practice for over 15 years with thousands of people and reveals how medical people hate it and divulge threatening information of how colloidal silver can turn your skin grey. According to the Silver Safety Council " Silver supplements have been used by millions of people, yet reports of the skin discoloration called argyria are very rare; it occurs only with excessive intake."
Why are there so different opinions on a product as such? For a good part, many articles go to explain that it could be that medical and pharmaceutical establishments don't want people to know how effective colloidal silver can be since anybody can make it at home with inexpensive equipment and colloidal silver cannot be patented. Therefore, anti colloidal silver propagandists go on to spread its negative effects. Googling phrases like " the truth about colloidal silver" or "the colloidal silver conspiracy" can bring up some quite interesting reads.
Beware of The Colloidal Silver Scam
Several manufacturers engage in the deceptive practice of calling their products "colloidal silver" when a more technically correct description would be "ionic silver solutions" since most of such products contain 90% ionic silver and 10% silver particles. The following hyperlink will take you to a list of Ionic Silver Solutions.
Benefits of Colloidal Silver for Dogs
One must wonder if the same controversy in the use of colloidal silver must be happening as well in veterinary medicine. Opinions seem to vary depending on who you ask. According to Veterinary Practice News, "colloidal silver has no place in veterinary medicine. Ingested silver accumulates in every organ and can induce irreversible neurologic toxicity." The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine further claims: “FDA is not aware of any substantial scientific evidence that supports the safe and effective use of colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts for any animal disease condition."
On the other hand, veterinarian Karen Becker admits to using essential oils, colloidal silver, Manuka honey, and Pavia cream to treat MRSA in dogs. Another big proponent is Dr. Joel Wallach, BS, DVM, ND. He claims "Recently colloidal silver has been discovered to have a powerful positive effect on the immune system when taken internally." Several other holistic veterinarians recommend its use and countless owners attest to its efficacy.
According to Vet Info, colloidal silver has many beneficial uses. As mentioned, there's belief that it's potent against a vast array of bacteria, viruses and fungi. It has been utilized topically as eye drops, as a nebulizer, as a spray for wounds, abscesses or other skin irritations or can be used as a soak or can be taken internally. Since it tastes like water, with a minimal mineral taste, it's easy to administer to pets. When taken internally, experts recommend that it's important to encourage the dog to drink as this helps him eliminate and flush away all the bad organisms from his body. Owners of dogs with kidney issues should consult with their holistic veterinarian. Following are some dog health conditions listed by Vet Info where colloidal silver has proven to be beneficial in dogs:
- Lyme disease
- Viral, bacterial and fungal infections
- Digestive issues
- Thyroid disorders
- Parasitic infestations
- Skin conditions
The Bottom Line
So should you use colloidal silver for your dog or not? As seen, it looks like a subject of controversy. If you are interested in alternative medicine, the best approach would be to consult with a holistic vet who can determine the best course of action based on your dog's symptoms. A holistic vet can also discuss if there is potential for complications. If he or she determines that colloidal silver may benefit the pet, he or she will provide you with the correct dosage based on the size of your dog and ailment being treated.
Disclaimer: this article is not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. As such, it's not meant to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease. If you are interested in using colloidal silver for your dog, the best course of action is to consult with a holistic vet in your area for advice. By reading this article, you accept this disclaimer.
Alexadry© All rights reserved, do not copy.
Veterinarian discusses colloidal silver for horses
What are your thoughts on colloidal silver for pets or humans?
Robin on March 23, 2019:
I use it to boost immunity in my furbabies and kitties too (13 n all), As an added benefit they have been flea free also.we have 3 bowls for all 13. and add anywhere from about 3 Tb to 1/4 c. to their water, just the average size bowls . using a 20ppm CS
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 23, 2014:
This is something you should discuss with a holistic vet based on your puppy's weight. It seems like best results are attained when given at the early onset. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
Karaline on September 23, 2014:
Hi all my 7 week old german shepherd
Puppy has to signs of Parvo is on drip at vet can I treat her when she gets home with colloidal silver in her water and how much .
Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on June 27, 2014:
That's insane, and it doesn't even sound very tasty.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 27, 2014:
That's interesting Solaras! I had to look that up for details as it intrigued me. It looks like it's made by Serendipity 3 and it's called "the Frozen Haute Chocolate". It's made with a mix of cocoas and milk frozen into a slushy consistency. Then five grams of 24-carat gold are added, whipped cream and then everything is topped with more gold. The price tag? Only $25,000!
Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on June 27, 2014:
In New York there is a restaurant with the most expensive dessert in the world. It includes shaved gold. I guess noble metals are okay to eat in small quantities.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 26, 2014:
Solaras, I also feel not comfortable about giving colloidal silver internally--just something I guess stems from what I have heard for many years about ingesting heavy metals. But from what I read, it looks like silver, gold, copper and platinum are classified as noble metals, not "heavy metals" and therefore I would assume they shouldn't have toxic effects , but once again, there seems to be so much controversy on this which is what makes me uneasy. I wonder if pets could also suffer from the effects of argyria too.
Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on June 26, 2014:
I use it on hot spots and minor wounds. I don't feel comfortable with my dogs ingesting it though. Thumbs up and useful!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 26, 2014:
I also feel squeamish about giving it, but perhaps I would under the guidance of a holistic vet. My aunt uses it for her health and swears about it.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 26, 2014:
I don't have a dog but if I did I won't give it colloidal silver, A great insight to this product.