Colloidal Silver for dogs

I run a small dog grooming spa with my sister. She grooms, I bathe and take care of most everything else.

Anyway, many of the toy dogs that we get in have terrible tear stains, sometimes with dime size crusties hanging off of them. We have been looking for an effective method of treating or preventing this mess on their face. One of our clients suggested using Colloidal Silver, both topically and in their food.

My research on the subject has come down to “it probably won’t cause any serious harm”, and most positive reviews have been a little suspect.

I was wondering if anyone knows the effectiveness of the treatment, any contraindications that would prohibit its use, or even a more effective and safe technique for eliminating the tear stains.

Many thanks for any input.

I’ve never heard of it being used on dogs, but it doesn’t sound safe at all. It can literally turn people’s skin a bluish/purple. Like Papa Smurf.

Skipping past all the pro sites that sell the stuff, I found this notice from the FDA.

How would colloidal silver help eye goobers?

Its supposed to help everything.

Yeah, 'cuz when you look like Violet Beauregard, who cares if you have eye boogers. Cured!

Modern day equivalent of snake oil.

It’s woo, pure and simple.

As it is supposedly an antibiotic, and the eye goop is often times related to a skin infection, I think. Not quite sure, honestly.

I probably should have phrased my question less as whether I should recommend it, and more whether and how strongly should I discourage it.

I still think it’s in the “probably won’t cause serious harm” category, but I’d certainly be interested to know if it is more likely to cause more serious harm. I know a few of our clients use it, too early to tell if it does any good (or harm), and want to make sure they aren’t doing anything to hurt their pets. If the worst it does is turn their skin blue, then I am not too concerned, but if it is something that is going to cause real problems, then I would like to pass that information on.

Thanks for the replies. Some of it I have seen, but if nothing else, the blue man picture could be useful to show.

Will it help me play the piano?

Look at it this way. If it does nothing, you gain nothing. Turn one dog blue (all joking aside, since it really does do that to humans) and you’re out of business at a minimum and at worst getting sued and possibly losing your car and home.

You’re a groomer and spa, you should be cleaning their eyes/ears and if the client asks, show them how to keep them clean between appointments, but not giving them drugs/supplements, especially not something like colloidal silver. If you’re looking for something that does a better job then what you can provide, talk to a vet, or a talk to a few vets so you have multiple opinions.

Yup, pure woo.

This is something my clients are already doing on their own, I am mostly debating whether it is worth risking a client getting upset for telling them not to.

We do clean eyes and ears, but once a stain is set in to the fur, it really doesn’t come out. Some of these dogs come in with such huge eye goop that it is sticking into their eye and causing cataracts. I not only show clients how to do it themselves, I even give them flea combs to do it, but they are nervous about messing so close to the eyes ( I was too once.)

I would just listen to the clients that tell you it works and not pass it along to the others and certainly not offer it as service. If you’re new to the business you’ll learn this and if you’ve been in it a while you’ve learned that your clients are all going to tell you what works for them, but some of them are not just going to tell you, they’re going to tell you as if it’s fact and make you feel like you’re jerk if you don’t change your ways and start doing it their way.

I’m in the produce/grocery business so I hear all kinds of woo stuff every day. Everything from people saying that bananas gave them cancer or too much milk pulled the calcium out of their bones so we should stop selling (that person even had a DVD and a website for me) it to “I found these great fly traps that are all natural at the pet store down the block, you really need to stop using Orkin and buy these instead” “Well, I’ll let the boss know and see what he has to say about it”
You really can’t please everyone all the time, but you can dismiss the woo while letting the person think you’re acknowledging them.

So WRT the silver, when someone tells you that it works and that you should carry it and use it on all the dogs you can just say “ok” and see how that goes or “Well, we did some research and it doesn’t really seem to work much better then [what we do]” or “We did some research and in some cases it seems like it might do some harm so we don’t feel comfortable using it, but if it work for you that’s great” IOW, blow them off with letting them know they’re being blown off. It’s an art you learn after you’ve been in business for a while.

Silver nitrate as an antibiotic is or was common - don’t they still put silver nitrate drops in newborns’ eyes? But this sounds like a cargo-cult alternative.

Better not to get dogs with curly white fur that promotes/highlights eye smear in the first place.

A few years ago I had a very bad infection on my leg . . . right on the shin, and it was threatening the underlying bone. My primary doctor gave me bad advice, and I wound up going to a wound specialist. He put me on topical colloidal silver. I had a somewhat complicated routine that I had to do twice a day, and in only 5 days the infection was gone and new skin was already growing. Though I was very skeptical at first, I have to admit I was most impressed by the results.

This was not systemic silver, taken orally. It was a brown mesh made of colloidal silver.

By the way, I’m human, and I can’t vouch for the treatment of canines.

I really, really thought the “By the way, I’m human…” sentence was going to end with something about vampires. I’ve been watching far too much True Blood.

Silver mesh dressings are used in wound care, particularly for wounds that are or are likely to become infected. Likewise, silver sulfadiazine cream is still used for treating infected wounds or to prevent burns from becoming infected. The actual effectiveness of these silver treatments is questionable, but many doctors and wound care nurses still recommend them.

They’re not colloidal silver though…colloidal silver is small bits of silver suspended in liquid. I might use it in a desert island scenario, after I’d looked for herbal antibacterials and not found any, but it’s probably quite literally better than nothing - it’s not better than other actual treatments.

Speaking as someone who actually has used a silver-containing topical treatment prescribed by a medical doctor for wound care with great results, there’s still no way in hell I’d use colloidal silver anything. Nor would I use it on my pets.

Here’s the potential harm:

  1. Someone could use it to treat a condition that should be seen by an actual vet for better treatment. If your dog has the eye boogers from hell you need to take Fido or Fluffy to an actual doctor.

  2. Agyria in humans (that blue skin thing from too much silver) seems to be correlated with intersitial nephritis. It doesn’t always occur, but when it does it mucks up your kidneys and may lead to kidney failure, which is much worse than eye boogers and stained fur.

  3. Agyria in humans is also correlated with increased anemia. While usually not as bad as kidney failure it’s not good either, not for you nor for your pet.

I could probably get away with it for my dog – she’s already part bluetick hound.

You’re right. Although I was told it was colloidal silver, it’s actually “Contact Layer Silver” containing silver sulfate.

I’m still impressed that I had new skin in 5 days.

… or for conservative Democrats.