What are the pros and cons of colloidal silver for dogs?

Colloidal silver has few side effects in dogs.

As with most medical options, there are pros and cons to using colloidal silver for dogs, but for most people the decision comes down to availability, price, and track record. Colloidal silver is generally considered an “alternative therapy” drug and is often used in place of antibiotics. It has a long history of use and its advocates often describe it as a cure-all. People give it to their dogs to treat almost any type of infection or illness. In most cases, colloidal silver is not approved by government regulatory authorities for use as a medicine, and there may be concerns about the strength, potency, and solidity of the preparation. Lack of regulation can lead to too much variety in the products that are available, and there isn’t always much consistency across brands. The risk of overdose is rare, but it can happen, and prolonged use can lead to a number of canine health issues.

Broad spectrum of uses

Colloidal silver can be added to a dog’s water to treat internal ailments.

One of the biggest “pros” of colloidal silver for dogs is that it can be used to treat a wide range of conditions. It is widely available at many health food and health food stores, and is generally not as expensive as the antibiotics and other pharmaceutical drugs that are often prescribed in its place.

Externally, gelatinous versions of the compound can be spread on cuts to promote healing and disinfect wounds, and liquid iterations can be sprayed into the ears or eyes to help treat infections. People also often add a few drops to dogs’ water bowls to treat internal illness and discomfort. It is also a common remedy for bacterial and fungal infections.

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Long Success Story

Colloidal silver can help treat eye infections.

Colloidal silver is said to be effective against over 650 disease-causing agents and has been used to treat human and animal ailments for centuries. Although the use of colloidal silver now falls under the category of “alternative medicine” in most places, records dating back to ancient Persia show that it was used as early as 4000 BC for people and livestock. Until the late 1930s, colloidal silver was the most common antibiotic agent used in humans and animals. Slowly, it lost popularity as modern antibiotics became more popular.

Questions about strength and preparation

Dog owners should consult a veterinarian before treating their pet with colloidal silver or any other herbal supplement.

Most countries have regulatory agencies, usually sponsored by the national government, that set rules and restrictions on drugs that can be sold to the public and claims that can be made about their effectiveness. Most of these types of agencies do not recognize colloidal silver as a drug for humans or dogs, which makes some people hesitant. It is important to note that simply not being endorsed is not necessarily a statement about the safety of the drug as a whole; in most cases, the lack of regulation is based more on the lack of information than the preponderance of negative information .

Colloidal silver antibiotic can be easily added to a dog’s food.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approach is a good example. In 1997, the FDA determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the efficacy or safety of using colloidal silver products. The FDA’s main concerns were that colloidal silver was being marketed as a cure for many diseases, without much or no evidence to support such claims, and it was being sold in various unknown formulations. Following this decision, colloidal silver could no longer be marketed in the United States as a drug intended for the treatment of disease or illness and could only be sold as a health supplement.

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The biggest concern for consumers is usually where the supplement comes from and how it is dosed. The lack of regulatory oversight often means that there is a lot of freedom in the market. Different brands may use different preparations and dosages, and people who don’t pay attention to this may use a stronger or weaker product than expected on their dogs, which can have negative effects.

Risks with prolonged use

Probably the biggest “con” associated with colloidal silver for dogs is the possibility of a condition known as “argyria.” Argyria can cause the skin to take on blue and gray hues, and can also cause organ failure and blood chemistry problems. It is usually caused by long-term use of colloidal silver that builds up in the blood and doesn’t process out the way it should. People who choose to use this sort of treatment for their dogs need to be sure to use the correct dosage for the dog’s weight and size, and should also usually be careful not to use the supplement for longer than is strictly necessary.

Heal Time Concerns

This sort of treatment is not always the fastest remedy for all problems, which can be a con depending on the circumstances. Minor aggravations usually respond to the fastest, but more complex conditions and ailments can take longer to heal — which can open the possibility for worsening symptoms and secondary infections. If a dog doesn’t seem to be responding to the supplement, it might be worth exploring other options. Most modern antibiotics work much more quickly for serious conditions.

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