Is Colloidal Silver Safe for Pets?
When I’m caring for Dexter, I try to use the safest, most natural products available. As you can imagine, I’m in a lot of social media pet-related groups. One remedy that often is recommended is colloidal silver for dogs. But, just because it’s recommended and natural, doesn’t mean it’s actually safe.
When I read suggestions and comments regarding colloidal silver for pets, I don’t just jump in and give it to Dexter. Instead, I need to do my due diligence with research, which includes online health articles and chatting with veterinarians. After all, I’m talking about Dexter’s care, and I don’t take my job lightly.
Health Benefits of Colloidal Silver for Dogs
Let’s discuss why colloidal silver is so “popular” at the moment as a cure-all. That statement itself always piques my interest. I tend to lean on the skeptical side when something is so widely promoted as the best thing that fixes everything. I mean, really. There are no magic wands out there. 😉
People who recommend colloidal silver typically recommend it both orally and topically. It is said that colloidal silver kills bacteria, boosts the immune system, fights resistant strains of bacteria, and treats skin infections.
Michelle Burch DVM, from Safe Hounds Pet Insurance explains, “Topical silver (used on the skin) has some appropriate medical uses, such as in bandages and dressings to treat burns, skin wounds, or skin infections. It’s also in medicines to prevent conjunctivitis (an eye condition) in newborns.”
Is Colloidal Silver Safe for Dogs?
The healing properties of colloidal silver sound pretty promising. But, is silver truly safe for pets?
Dr. Burch continued to say, “However, there are no legally marketed prescription or over-the-counter drugs containing colloidal silver that are taken by mouth. Colloidal silver is a heavy metal with antibiotic properties. Since it is a heavy metal, it is absorbed in all parts of the body and damages the organs. Damage to the organs at first is mild but is cumulative with long-term exposure.”
She went on to explain, “Long-term use of colloidal silver can cause a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin and internal organs called argyria. Argyria is not harmful but is an indicator that silver is depositing in the organs. Kidney, liver, and neurological dysfunction have been reported with long-term usage in animals.”
As I continued researching colloidal silver, I also found these same references. The FDA, CDC, and NIH all warn against the use of colloidal silver. The Mayo Clinic also warns that colloidal silver may interact with medications, including penicillin, antibiotics, and thyroid medications.
One last point Dr. Burch made, “Research with colloidal silver has shown adverse effects with ingestion, including death, weight loss, decreased activity, increased liver enzymes, heart enlargement, and immunocompromise.”
Colloidal Silver for Emergencies
All in all, I feel colloidal silver’s risks outweigh the potential health benefits. My personal concern is that once there’s a problem, there’s no changing the result. I think there are better alternatives that I can use for Dexter’s care.
I will, however, keep it in Dexter’s medicine cabinet for emergencies (topically), since silver is a powerful antimicrobial, but certainly won’t be grabbing it first. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s just too risky for us.
- More information on the risks of colloidal silver from the Centers for Disease Control–https://wwwn.cdc.gov/TSP/PHS/PHS.aspx?phsid=537&toxid=97
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) warning
- The Mayo Clinic warning
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