Can You Use Colloidal Silver for Dog Ear Infections?


Smiling dog with eyes closed and its furry, floppy ears being held up by two hands.

Colloidal silver isn’t new for in-the-know followers of health trends. Before antibiotics were introduced in the 1940s, silver had been used for over 6,000 years to treat and prevent microbial infections. So why are we seeing it today in pet health products, and what can it do for your pet? 

Are you all ears? Let's explore the noteworthy perks of colloidal silver for dogs with ear infections and other ear-itation.

What is colloidal silver?

Colloidal silver is defined as tiny silver particles suspended in a liquid. But it’s not the only silver health product on the market––there’s also ionic silver, chelated silver, nano silver, and more. 

Before you start mining the pet health market for the best products, let’s explore colloidal silver and its colleagues: 

Colloidal silver

Colloidal silver looks a lot like liquid silver, since it’s made up of tiny silver particles suspended in liquid (usually water). Within a colloidal silver solution, silver particles can sometimes be scattered or not evenly dispersed. 

Chelated silver

During chelation, ions and molecules bond to metal ions. Chelated silver is bonded silver ions suspended in a liquid, which means it might be more evenly distributed throughout the solution. 

Nano silver

These super-small silver particles are highly debated for pet and human health because they can enter the bloodstream. 

While nanosilver particles don’t have a high absorption rate when a product (like an eczema spray) is applied to the skin, that risk is higher if the skin barrier is damaged. And since many of the conditions marketed to by nanosilver products involve damaged or broken skin, studies suggest it could be more likely that nanosilver can reach major organs and potentially cause health issues.

Ionic silver

This type of silver is unique because it’s technically metal-free, as it doesn’t contain any solid silver particles. Instead, ionic silver is made up of silver ions: individual silver atoms or molecules that carry a positive ionic charge. So what does that mean for its efficacy, or how it should be used?

Ionic silver is touted as ‘more-readily’ absorbed by the body thanks to its ability to bind to other molecules inside a liquid. Like other forms of silver its uses include defense against microbes like bacteria, viruses, and more.

Other types of silver

In addition to nano silver, there’s also a micro-sized silver. The larger particle size of this type of silver helps it sit on the surface of the skin for longer––making it useful, for example, for treating ear infections in dogs. By sitting on the skin inside the ear, it can actively block and kill harmful microbes that cause ear infections.
Small nuggets of pure silver

What can colloidal silver do for pets?

In order to survive, bacteria needs proteins, and that’s where colloidal silver becomes useful for humans and pets. Silver can kill certain bacteria by destroying the proteins they need to stay alive. Using colloidal silver for dogs can be helpful in treating certain bacterial and yeast infections, which is why it’s becoming more common in over-the-counter pet products.

Here are some of the many health claims made by over-the-counter silver products for pets: 

  • Supports immunity 
  • Promotes respiratory health
  • Kills microbes like yeast and bacteria (antimicrobial)
  • Helps with wound healing
  • Soothes irritation (anti-inflammatory)
  • Protects against certain viruses (antiviral)
  • Prevents topical infections when applied to the skin
  • Helps with gum soreness and inflammation

Symptoms of ear infection in dogs

Wondering how to treat dog ear yeast infections without vet intervention? No matter how you attempt to treat the ear infection at home, you should always contact your vet at the first sign of a dog ear infection. They’ll give you the best advice on how to treat it and can help determine what might be causing it.

Signs of dog ear infection include: 

  • Scratching or pawing at the ear
  • Tilting or shaking the head
  • A strong odor from the ear
  • Loss of balance (a dog’s equilibrium can be affected by an ear infection)
  • Oozing or discharge from the ear
  • Redness inside the ear canal

Picture of dog ear yeast infection with crust and redness

Benefits of colloidal silver for dog ear infections

When it comes to using nano silver, colloidal silver for dog ear infections, there are a few major benefits that might help your pet ditch their itchy ears:

Helps with wound healing

Certain types of silver can help heal wounds around the ear caused by excessive itching and scratching during a dog ear infection. Silver particles block other harmful particles around sore and open wounds, which allows the wound to heal naturally. 

Helps prevent new bacterial growth

Small-particle silvers (larger than nanosilver) remain on the skin for some time after being applied topically. So if you use an ear flush or dog ear drops with silver inside the ear, you might be able to help prevent new infections. 

Treats active ear infections in dogs & cats

Products with nano silver particles or smaller can help treat active ear infections inside the ear by killing yeast and bacteria. There’s also some evidence that the more porous the silver the better when it comes to doling out antibacterial power against ear infections. 

Is colloidal silver toxic for dogs?

Are you trying to determine whether or not silver is toxic for dogs, and if you should use it? Consider the type of silver you’re using as well as the application. Using topical silver products with a larger particle size–for example, micro-sized silver–is perfectly safe for pets because it sits on top of the skin.

If you’re thinking about using a silver product that has to be ingested (swallowed) by your pet–or if it has a nano particle size that can enter your pet’s bloodstream–first discuss the treatment with your veterinarian. They’ll help you decide if it’s the right option for your pet’s unique needs!

When using colloidal silver for dogs, always follow the dosage instructions on the product’s packaging. In rare cases, ingesting too much colloidal silver could potentially cause long-term harm in humans and animals. The good news is that when applied topically–for example, in a dog’s ear or on the skin–you’re not facing the same risks. 

Wondering how to treat dog ear yeast infections without vet intervention? Take our advice, and never go-it alone when it comes to any type of ear infection in dogs. Any type of foul odor, irritation, redness, inflammation or other abnormal symptoms in the ear should be evaluated by a medical professional to safeguard your pet’s health!

Want more vet-reviewed tips for keeping your dog’s ears healthy? Read the latest: 

Ear Infection Alert: Is Your Dog One of These At-Risk Breeds?

Why Do Dogs Shake Their Head?

How Do I Know If My Dog Has an Ear Infection?

This blog exists to provide general information and education about veterinary health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website, or in any linked materials is not intended as and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions, or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

If you suspect that your pet has a medical concern, you should consult with your veterinary health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website, or in any linked materials.

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Dr. James Bascharon set out on a mission ten years ago to create a pet supplement company unlike any other. After realizing there was no solution for pets with anal gland issues, Dr. Bascharon set out on a research mission to create a supplement specifically for this problem. After years of research, multiple patents, and collaboration with top industry professionals, Glandex® is now a veterinary-renowned solution for pets with anal gland issues. This journey proved that with the correct nutritional supplementation, pets could lead healthier and happier lives. Vetnique Labs® continues with an innovative veterinary mindset and approach to help make a long-lasting impact on the health and well-being of millions of pets.

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