According to anecdotal reports, colloidal silver can be used as a universal treatment for many issues in dogs. And, based on a study, colloidal silver can be used in the treatment of canine distemper.
In this article, we will discuss the science behind colloidal silver for dogs. Also, we will talk about the potential risks and give tips on how to buy colloidal silver for your canine.
What is Colloidal Silver for Dogs?
Colloidal silver for dogs is a liquid with suspended microscopic silver particles. The term suspended means that the particles of silver are not dissolved but rather floating in the liquid base. However, they are too small for the naked eye to see.
In the past colloidal silver was the mainstream for managing infections because of its anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. In the 1940s, with the introduction of antibiotics, the use of colloidal silver against pathogens rapidly declined.
Today, it seems like colloidal silver is used as a natural antibiotic, but this time its popularity has risen in the veterinary medicine field. However, the FDA does not approve the use of colloidal silver in pets.
Is Colloidal Silver Toxic to Dogs?
The answer to the question of whether colloidal silver is toxic to dogs is both yes and no. If you find this confusing, let us explain. Based on its place on the periodic table, from a chemistry standpoint, silver is considered a transition metal.
Transition metal means it is somewhere between straightforward toxic heavy metals like lead and mercury and essential nutritional minerals like iron and copper.
So, to opt for the safe use of colloidal silver in your dog, you need to be extra mindful – stick to the recommended dosage and limit the treatment length (no more than two weeks).
Benefits and Uses of Colloidal Silver for Dogs
The benefit of colloidal silver is that it kills pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi in dogs. To make things simpler, let’s review some popular colloidal silver uses in dogs below.
Colloidal Silver for Dog Eye Infections. Colloidal silver can be used to treat eye problems in dogs, such as inflammation and infection. It is painless, so colloidal silver drops can be applied directly to your dog’s eyes.
Colloidal Silver for Dog Ear Infection. When applied directly to the dog’s ears, the colloidal silver drops can fight off ear infections and manage painful inflammation (canine otitis).
Colloidal Silver for Dog Skin Allergies. Colloidal silver is believed to have a soothing effect on dogs with allergies. Namely, when sprayed, it can reduce the itchiness and skin dryness that cause pain and discomfort.
Colloidal Silver for Dog Wounds. Colloidal silver can be used in the management of skin infections and skin injuries (wounds and burns). This is because, in addition to killing bacteria, it has soothing and healing powers.
Colloidal Silver for Dog Respiratory Infections. When colloidal silver is turned into a mist by using a nebulizer, it can be used to treat certain respiratory problems such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma.
How to Give Colloidal Silver to Dogs
You can use give your dog colloidal silver orally, topically, or via a nebulizer. Each administration method has different effects and indications.
When treating orally, simply drop the colloidal silver into your dog’s mouth multiple times per day for ten days. Colloidal silver tastes like regular drinking water, so your pet should have no problem taking it.
For topical application, you can either spray the colloidal silver or use it as a compress. It does not sting or burn, so you do not have to worry about causing discomfort to your pet. This is good news considering the fact you need to apply the colloidal silver several times per day.
Finally, nebulizing the colloidal silver is recommended when treating the lungs (conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia). You should mist your dog with colloidal silver for around fifteen minutes.
Potential Side Effects and Risks of Colloidal Silver for Dogs
There are a few potential side effects and risks of colloidal silver for dogs that pet owners should be aware of. Below are some of the most common colloidal silver side effects for dogs:
- General malaise, lethargy, and weight loss
- Argyria (the skin turns bluish-grey after long-term use)
- Organ and tissue damage (mainly the kidneys)
- Liver issues and altered liver enzymes
- Neurological effects like tremors and seizures
The chances of adverse reactions in dogs increase with incorrect use – prolonged exposure and high doses. Therefore, it is imperative you stick to the recommended instructions. Additionally, there are several other considerations associated with colloidal silver.
First, some dogs treated with colloidal silver become sluggish about three to four days into treatment because the eliminatory organs become overloaded, attempting to flush the toxins out of the body. Encourage your dog to drink more water while using colloidal silver (you can do this by adding a small amount of chicken broth to the water bowl).
Second, colloidal silver does more than kill pathogens – it also affects the good bacteria in the dog’s gut. To keep your pet’s digestive system healthy and prevent diarrhea, always use probiotics and prebiotics in conjunction with colloidal silver. We recommend the Honest Paws Pre + Probiotic Supplement for dogs.
Also, colloidal silver interacts with certain prescription medications. For example, colloidal silver inhibits the absorption of thyroid drugs and some types of antibiotics like penicillin and tetracycline.
Finally, Dr. Jamie Freyer warns, “Because colloidal silver has been associated with developmental abnormalities, it should not be used in puppies. Caution should also be taken in dogs with underlying health problems or dogs that are on other medications. If you are ever in doubt about whether it’s appropriate to treat your dog with colloidal silver, check with your veterinarian”.
Colloidal Silver for Dogs Dosage
When it comes to colloidal silver, the difference between safety and toxicity is the dose. The recommended colloidal silver dosage depends on the dog’s body weight. For example, small dogs can take 5 ml of and large dogs up to 10 ml of colloidal silver two to three times per day for as many as ten days.
Here are some practical dosing guidelines:
- Dogs weighing 2 to 10 pounds – 1/16 teaspoon
- Dogs weighing 11 to 25 pounds – 1/8 teaspoon
- Dogs weighing 26 to 40 pounds – 1/4 teaspoon
- Dogs weighing 41 to 55 pounds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Dogs weighing 56 to 80 pounds – 3/4 teaspoon
- Dogs weighing 81 to 100 pounds – 1 teaspoon
- Dogs weighing 101 to 150 pounds – 1 1/4 teaspoons
- Dogs weighing 151 to 200 pounds and over – 1 1/2 teaspoons
Safety Tips on Buying Colloidal Silver for Dogs
If shopping for colloidal silver products for dogs, we suggest the Vet Recommended Colloidal Silver for Dogs & Cats. It is a 100% safe, powerful, and pure formula. Plus, it is extremely easy to use, and it can be sprayed topically or added to the drinking water.
It is important to remember that not every colloidal silver product available on the market is safe for your pet. Since colloidal silver is not FDA approved for dogs, its production is wildly unregulated.
Basically, there are three primary safety considerations:
- Positively Charged Silver – the higher the ratio of positively charged silver, the better the product
- Parts per Million (ppm) – higher ppm is not indicative of a better product (10 ppm is enough)
- Product Form – ionic silver, gels, and salts are less efficient and more toxic
Our top pick, the Vet Recommended Colloidal Silver for Dogs & Cats, contains 98% positively charged silver and features ten ppm silver particles. Plus, it is made in the USA.
Alternatives to Colloidal Silver for Dogs
One of the main concerns associated with mainstream antibiotics is their lack of selectivity. Namely, antibiotics kill more than pathogens – they also kill good bacteria and affect the strength of the immune system. Therefore, holistic veterinarians advocate natural antibiotics.
Colloidal silver is a popular example, but it is not the only one. If colloidal silver is not suited for your dog’s needs, there are other options you can try, like Manuka honey and oregano oil.
Manuka Honey for Dogs. Manuka honey comes from Australia and New Zealand, from the nectar of the Manuka tree. It is used topically as a natural antibiotic. Manuka honey has strong antimicrobial properties and is efficient against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA. It is advisable to use an organic Manuka honey product.
Oregano Oil for Dogs. Oregano oil has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and anti-fungal properties, making it an excellent natural antibiotic for dogs. It can be applied topically, orally, or diffused. Just keep in mind that it must not be used in its undiluted form. Ideally, you should mix one drop of oregano oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil.
Our Final Thoughts on Colloidal Silver for Dogs
Although not a science-based medication, colloidal silver is a commonly recommended cure in the pet parent community. Sadly, there are not many scientific papers backing up the use of colloidal silver for dogs.
While there are plenty of anecdotal reports about benefits, there are also some significant side effects and risks. Based on current knowledge, the general consensus is that the topical use of colloidal silver is much safer than the more marketed oral use.
Keep in mind that Colloidal silver is a holistic product and the data provided in this article is purely informative. In more practical terms, it is imperative to talk to your vet before use.