Colloidal silver has been recommended for treating several internal and external problems in pets. Some doctors and pet owners have reported good results when other treatments have failed.
Depending upon the manufacturer of colloidal silver, which is NOT the same thing as silver sulfadiazine, the actual quantity of silver in bottles is not always guaranteed. Some doctors have reported bottles that had bacteria or fungus growing in the bottles, which makes one wonder about the potential antimicrobial action of some products.
Colloidal silver is produced by the electrocolloidal method, which extracts microscopic particles from silver. These microscopic particles pass out of the body in the urine and feces. Because the colloidal silver maintains a positive electrical charge, it should only be contained in dark glass bottles (plastic maintains a negative charge and neutralizes the colloidal silver).
Silver, in the form of silver sulfadiazine (Silvadene), is quite useful for treating topical bacterial infections; especially severe infections caused by gram-negative bacterial species (pseudomonas spp. and aeromonas spp.). Both human and veterinary medical doctors have reported success when the product is used orally or topically in a variety of infectious disorders.
University studies show effective and quick antimicrobial kill of staphylococcus epidermidis, staphylococcus aureus, enterococcus faecalis, salmonella typhimurium, pseudomonas aeruginosa, and candida albicans using colloidal silver (the product tested was manufactured by SilverKare) when incubated at the recommended 30 ppm.
One use of colloidal silver that anecdotally has shown some success is the treatment of cats with either acute or chronic sinus infections. A drop of colloidal silver is placed in each eye and in the nostrils. It can also be added to the drinking water or given orally.
While quality varies among manufacturers, properly produced colloidal silver appears safe and effective in many conditions. To date, no infectious organisms appear to have developed resistance to colloidal silver.
While short-term use of some products has not resulted in reported side effects, there is always the potential for argyria (silver poisoning) in improperly made products and those containing silver salts. According to several scientific publications, the human consumption of silver may result in argyria, a permanent ashen-gray or blue discoloration of the skin, conjunctiva, and internal organs. However, this has not been seen in people or pets using properly manufactured colloidal silver.
While more reports and controlled studies are needed, preliminary reports appear encouraging. Because of the potential benefits of colloidal silver, owners should discuss this therapy with their veterinarians; discuss the latest studies available, and possible use in the treatment of infectious disorders.
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Shawn Messonnier, DVM
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Shawn Messonnier DVM Past Supporting Member, Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians Author, the award-winning The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, and Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How YOU Can Win The Battle!
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