Colloidal silver supplements have recently been promoted as a COVID-19 preventive and treatment, a claim that specialists, including those at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have fiercely denied.
On the other hand, colloidal silver was contentious even prior to the epidemic. While supporters believe it is a panacea for a range of human health problems, medical authorities object to a lack of reliable studies and safety concerns.
What does this mean for our canine companions? Is colloidal silver safe for dogs? Is it even beneficial? What about colloidal silver applied topically, which some medical professionals believe may have certain applications?
We conducted a literature review and conducted interviews with veterinarians to learn more about topical and supplemental colloidal silver for dogs. As is customary, ask your veterinarian prior to giving your dog any new colloidal silver product.
Nano Silver Is Another Marketing Term for Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is a solution made up of small silver particles floating in a liquid to ensure even distribution of the silver particles. Marketers have invented catchphrases such as nano silver, miracle water, colloidal nanosilver, silver nanoparticles, nanosilver frequency water, and nanosilver, among others.
Topical treatment is one application of colloidal silver for human health. "Colloidal silver-infused wound dressings have been used to treat human (and even pediatric) burn patients, most likely due to the antibacterial properties of the silver," notes Dr. Lisa Pinn McFaddin of Independent Hill Veterinary Clinic in Manassas, Virginia. "This indicates that the chemical may also be beneficial for irritated and inflamed skin."
Colloidal silver is also pushed as a nutritional supplement for humans, with proponents claiming a plethora of health benefits, including immune system enhancement, cancer prevention, and flu prevention. The evidence, on the other hand, refutes these assertions. According to the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, oral colloidal silver consumption has no documented advantages.
Indeed, prolonged or excessive exposure to colloidal silver can cause major ill effects such as poisoning, decreased absorption of some prescription medications (such as antibiotics and thyroid treatments), and argyria, a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin.
Colloidal silver is available to dogs in chewable and spray form, as well as topical applications such as lotions, sprays, and shampoo.
Comparison of Silver Sulfadiazine and Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is not synonymous with silver sulfadiazine. Silver colloidal suspension is made up of metallic silver particles (called colloids).
On the other hand, silver sulfadiazine is an antibacterial ointment that contains silver ions and is used to treat wounds and burns in both human and veterinary medicine. It is only accessible on prescription and comes in the form of a cream or a liquid.
Silver sulfadiazine has been licensed by the FDA for treatment, but not colloidal silver.
What Is the Distinction Between Micro- and Nano-Silver?
Colloidal silver comprises nanoparticles of silver, whereas microparticles of silver are larger, and so remain on the surface of the skin without being absorbed, producing a long-lasting antibacterial barrier to protect the wound from infection. In comparison to colloidal silver, micro-sized particles provide the highest level of safety for silver used in topical health care, resulting in superior antibacterial activity that adheres to the skin and hair follicles. The micro-sized particles inhibit the growth of undesirable germs while also strengthening the skin's natural defenses and retaining its good flora.
Micro-silver is utilized as a safer alternative to colloidal silver in numerous topical antibacterial ointments and spray gels for dogs.
Is Colloidal Silver Non-Toxic to Dogs?
Topical or oral colloidal silver administration to dogs for an extended period is neither safe nor advised. According to McFaddin, silver is believed to cause physical damage to cells. "From the silver particles, silver ions can leach, and these ions may have bioactive properties," she explains. "They can, for example, cause cell death and disrupt the regulation of gene expression in cells."
Again, prolonged use of colloidal silver in dogs is not suggested. However, if your dogs, cats, or other pets become ill, you can use colloidal silver to alleviate their symptoms in the short term.
Experts in both human and veterinary medicine distinguish between oral and topical colloidal silver treatments.
"What we put on the skin is not always healthy — or even helpful — to ingest," explains Dr. Jessica Romine, a veterinary internal medicine specialist at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. "Continuous use is not suggested due to the fact that it is a heavy metal that accumulates in the kidney and other tissues."
The risks of giving dogs colloidal silver by mouth are many. In the long run, long-term use can cause silver to build up on your pet's skin and mucous membranes, which can lead to an irreversible condition called argyria. It's not very common for dogs and people to have argyria, which is when silver chemicals make their skin turn blue or blue-gray.
But argyria isn't the only thing that veterinarians worry about.
Animals have died, lost weight, had their liver enzymes changed, and had neurological effects as a result of taking the drug, says Bullen. "Colloidal silver can also make medicines less likely to be absorbed." Colloid silver needs to be studied a lot more to make sure it can be used as an oral supplement.
It can be dangerous for dogs who haven't been properly diagnosed with certain illnesses to use colloidal silver. Romine says this can have even more consequences. When the dog does not have a bacterial infection and the inflammation is caused only by an allergy, silver is not going to help much at all.
There isn't enough regulation of supplements for dogs, which makes it hard to make sure they're safe, says Romine, too. In the health food store, what they may get home might be an oral preparation, which isn't meant to help. If the oral preparation did work, it's likely that it would change their skin color for good. As a result, there is no way to make sure that what the bottle says it has is true. Sometimes, it's not.
Colloidal Silver Can Be Good for Dogs
Some people say colloidal silver can help heal wounds in dogs, but Bullen says there isn't enough proof. In the lab, colloidal silver has been shown to be an antibiotic, she says. During one study, colloidal silver didn't kill bacteria. After a lot of treatments, it did kill some bacteria. If it doesn't work yet, more research needs to be done.
For dogs, colloidal silver could be used as a topical antibacterial agent. This is especially true when biofilm (clumps of bacteria that are molded together) is at play. She has used colloidal silver to treat infections in her ear and on her skin that haven't worked with other types of medicine. There was a study that found colloidal silver gel to be good at stopping biofilm infections, and this is in line with that study.
People who read online stories say that colloidal silver can help a dog's itchy skin. A virus might make you itchy, so you might want to scratch your skin. Nobody has done a good study to say this is good for you.
A mineral called colloidal silver does not have any known benefits for a dog when it is taken by mouth. Romine says it is not an important mineral for a dog. But a lot of people say that they fed their pets colloidal silver to help them get better.
Giving Colloidal Silver To Dogs
Veterinarians say that dogs should not be given colloidal silver as an oral food supplement. It's not worth the risk, says Bullen.Even if veterinarians said it was good for dogs, it would be hard to figure out how much colloidal silver to give them. People who sell an unregulated product can't say how much it has, and most don't even say how much is in their own product.
There are a few things to think about if you want to give colloidal silver on your dog.
Experts say that you shouldn't put any kind of product on your dog's mouth, gums, or teeth. McFaddin says that you should cover the areas where the product is or use an Elizabethan collar to keep your dog from licking and eating it, so you should do that. Before giving your dog any product that has colloidal silver in it, you should work with your veterinarian.
Colloidal Silver for Dogs Can Have Side Effects
On the basis of animal studies, Romine says that silver can make people sick and kill them. Silver can also make people lose weight, be less active and have changes in their brain chemicals, liver enzymes and their heart size, she says.
Colloidal silver can make your skin turn gray or blue. This is called argyria, and it's caused by silver. She says this can happen because of the silver. Romine says this can happen. Given by mouth, it can make drugs for dogs less effective like tetracyclines, penicillin, and levothyroxine less effective, says Romine.
Dogs may not show signs of being toxic all the time. "Sometimes, like with lead poisoning, the signs aren't very obvious, but colloidal silver may be to blame," says Romine.
Silver particles can also irritate the lining of the digestive tract, says McFaddin. In light of the lack of research in veterinary medicine, I don't think colloidal silver should be taken by mouth.
Purchasing Colloidal Silver for Dogs
Colloidal silver is a good thing to think about before you buy any products for your dog that have it in them.
There are no rules. People who make colloidal silver don't have to follow the rules set by the FDA. We have no real proof of safety, says Romine. Stay away from making up stories that aren't true. Keep in touch with a veterinarian who is good at giving these kinds of supplements, and ask for brand names. Always be wary of products that claim to be miracle cure-alls, says Romine. Avoid taking supplements that are put in your mouth. Veterinarians say it's best not to give your dog oral colloidal silver products. It is not how silver's "antimicrobial properties" are supposed to work, says Romine. There are so many risks.
Topical products are easy to find. Products with colloidal silver that don't need a prescription from a veterinarian are often sold as creams, gels, shampoos, and sprays, among other things. They are usually found in pet supply stores, drug stores, and online stores. Before you use it, talk to your vet. You should always check with your veterinarian before applying any new colloidal silver product to your dog's skin, like on its skin.
Colloidal silver is a liquid solution containing microscopic silver particles. It is available for dogs in chewable, spray, and topical formulations. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there are no proven benefits of taking colloidal silver orally. Silver sulfadiazine, but not colloidal silver, has been approved by the FDA. Micro-silver is used instead of colloidal silver in many topical antibiotic ointments and spray gels for dogs.
Long-term use of colloidal silver may result in argyria. Dog supplements are not fully monitored, making their safety unknown. Colloidal silver is an antibacterial topical agent for dogs. Veterinarians do not advocate giving dogs colloidal silver orally. When taken orally, it can diminish the efficacy of drugs such as penicillin and levothyroxine.
However, many fur-parents have treated their furbabies for medical conditions such as parvo virus and distemper, and their furbabies have recovered from the ailments.
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ViBacSil is a colloidal silver nanoparticle solution with a broad spectrum of action and improved efficacy against a wide range of bacteria. ViBacSil is a one-of-a-kind product on the market because it is made with cutting-edge nanotechnology. It's used in a variety of industries, including medicine, food processing, and agriculture, as well as personal hygiene and health care products. The personnel at ViBacSil are well-versed in the science of nano silver and can be trusted.
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