Respiratory problems and diseases are definitely one of the leading causes of chronic illnesses in horses. Studies show that about 25% of calls to veterinarians are due to diseases caused by respiratory complications. If you are a horse owner, then you have probably heard or come across the term “chelated silver” as an alternative to the usual antibiotics used in the treatment of equine respiratory disease.

The use of chelated silver to ease respiratory difficulties in horses is a treatment that has been in practice for a really long time. Also called “silver therapy,” this treatment is used to treat various kinds of equine respiratory problems such as; lymphoid hyperplasia, pharyngitis, bleeding (EIPD), etc., in order to prevent more serious complications like lameness which could result from negligence.

Despite the common use of this treatment, a lot of people are still unaware of how this treatment works and its full benefits. In this post, we will discuss all you should know about chelated silver and highlight few of the major benefits of the treatment for horses as a remedy for certain diseases and aid in their recovery process.


Why Chelated Silver?


Chelated Silver is chemically known to be a very stable compound because it is highly unreactive and does not pose as a significant threat to the environment. These properties make chelated silver a highly sought after product in medicine for the treatment of various illnesses. One would wonder why basic silver isn’t used as well or instead of chelated silver; this is mainly because chelated silver penetrates body tissues more effectively than normal silver and deep tissue penetration is very necessary for the treatment of equine respiratory diseases.

Silver is widely known for its antibacterial benefits and Has the ability to eliminate the presence and growth of microbial infections present in the respiratory tract of horses. In addition to this, due to the highly un-reactive nature of chelated silver, there are little or no recorded side effects of this treatment, and this is why it is sometimes known as a therapeutic remedy for bacterial infections since it passes the criteria for a basic therapeutic medication.


Causes of Respiratory diseases and how to spot them


A huge percentage of chronic respiratory diseases is caused by negligence or failure to treat upper respiratory problems when they occur. The indicators of this disease usually range from subtle to very obvious, so one has to be quite diligent when observing their animals. For example, coughing, sneezing can easily be diagnosed to be a respiratory problem caused by a change in weather, environmental allergens, or an inflammation of the lungs caused by viral infections. There are other symptoms of respiratory diseases in horses such as;

  • Thick discharge is emanating from the nose. This discharge can be yellow or light brown and usually indicates the presence of an infection.
  • Strained breathing
  • Heaving chest
  • Increasing temperature
  • Presence of lymph nodes beneath the jaw of the animal
  • Wheezing
  • Little or no energy

If any of these symptoms or more are sported in the animal, then there is a high chance that it has a pulmonary problem and should be fully diagnosed before treatment is administered.


How does this treatment work?


Based on its known mechanism of action, when the chelated silver is inhaled, it produces active species of oxygen which target the bacterial cells and prevent them from forming more chemical bonds which are the basis of their survival. For a bacterial cell to have any effect, it has to form chemical bonds. These bonds are essential for the bacterial cell’s overall functioning and structure, and this is why the chelated silver attacks it. When these cells come in contact with the chelated silver, the oxygen species produced by the silver causes the cell structures of the bacteria to fall apart without any harm to the tissues and other blood cells.


What’s the Difference between chelated and colloidal silver?


In chemistry, a chelate is basically a bound pair of atoms chemically combined together for a specific purpose. Chelators are very useful in disease treatment because they are used to transport important atoms into the body, directly into the cells. The unique aspect about chelates is that they are able to transport larger amounts of atoms into the cells more than what the body would be able to transport on its own. The systems in the body treat chelates as desired molecules and hence allows full entry of the atoms into the cells.

Colloids, on the other hand, are small particles of a substance that are usually suspended in a liquid and do not dissolve. A lot of colloidal substances have very poor bio-availability and hence are not as well and quickly absorbed into the body cells as chelates. This is mainly because colloidal particles even in their small size are too big to be absorbed by most body cells. Also, the active parts of colloids are located in the interior of its particles and hence cannot have direct contact with the necessary transport routes in the cell.


Benefits of Chelating Silver to aid breathing


As earlier described, cheating silver is highly effective in the treatment of both minor and chronic pulmonary infections and diseases in horses. This method of treatment is extremely therapeutic compared to an antibiotic administration or other forms of treatment. Some of these benefits are;

  • Usually, with antibiotics, microorganisms begin to develop a form of resistance against them, thus reducing the effectiveness of the treatment over a period of time. However, with chelated silver, microorganisms are not able to develop any form of resistance against the treatment regardless of how many times it has been administered to a particular animal. This is because microorganisms are not able to undergo mutations into new forms that are resistant to silver. Hence, this treatment remains viable.
  • Due to the un-reactive nature of silver, chelated silver does not interfere with the chemical action of other medications the horse might be taking at the time. The silver has a clear path of action and sticks to it without disrupting the activities of other treatments the horse is undergoing.
  • Veterinarians have found chelated silver to be highly effective for the treatment and prevention of many equine diseases and infection irrespective of its origin (whether bacterial, fungal or viral). This means that this product can also be administered as a preventive measure against pulmonary infections in horses.
  • Chelated silver can also be easily applied directly to the upper airway of the animal with the use of a nebulizer or spray.
  • Products of chelated silver can also be used in the treatment of burns and scars in horses.
  • Chelated silver can also be formulated and administered to horses in the bid to support their pulmonary system especially if they are just recovering from an ailment. It enhances their breathing, regulates their heartbeat and ensures that they can perform their duties (for performance horses) without running out of energy too quickly.
  • The product also helps to remove mucus in the nasal cavities of horses and also treats and eliminates any form of bacteria that is found in the lungs.
  • Chelated silver removes the need to purchase costly antibiotics for the treatment of pulmonary or respiratory infections since chelated silver treatments are quite affordable.
  • Chelated silver also keeps your nebulizer rid of bacteria after administration to avoid the spread of the infection to other horses.
  • Chelated silver works extremely fast, killing bacterial microorganisms within 4-6 minutes of administration by preventing them from absorbing oxygen in the cells. The constant administration will, therefore, get rid of the infection in no time.
  • Chelated silver treatments have no side effects and do not lead to any known complications.
  • Due to the therapeutic nature of chelated silver, it can lead to an increase in the performance of the horses after treatment. Bear in mind that this is not doping but a beneficial reaction to the treatment when administered.


One of the most common factors that depreciate equine performance is pulmonary or respiratory diseases and infection. It weakens your horses, damages their breathing and can lead to more complicated and chronic problems if not diagnosed and treated on time.


Chelated silver treatments is a safe, affordable, quick and easy to administer treatment for horses with this health issue. It is a great way to keep your horses protected from all the harsh effects of common antibiotics. What’s more? With chelated silver, you are a 100% certain that your horse will be cured of this ailment unlike the use of common antibiotics. Conclusively, if your horse is suffering from the ailment described above, then chelated silver is definitely the best choice of treatment.


Here at Silverhorsecare, we always put horses first because they deserve all the care that they can get so if you need products that will enhance their health and living conditions, you are at the right place.

Comments (4)

  • Lynda Goodfriend Reply

    How often is the treatment necessary If you are using a nebulizer?

    September 19, 2020 at 9:58 pm
    • Becky Reply

      Hello Lynda! You can nebulize every 4-6 hours as needed with the colloidal silver or the Chelated Nebulize.

      September 23, 2020 at 3:09 pm
  • Kelly Marie Allen Reply

    How much chelated silver solution do I put in the nebulizer for one treatment?

    December 16, 2020 at 6:30 pm
    • Becky Reply

      Hello – add the solution to under the 10cc mark – Becky

      December 21, 2020 at 9:17 am


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