First many prayers for all on the west coast caught in the fire areas. I can only imagine the devastation and my prayers are with you.
There has been a lot of back and forth on whether to nebulize your horses or not. I know people all have their own opinion. So, with that being said, here is our experience.
First and foremost, I want it 100% understood that this is NOT an endorsement or advertisement for our product. God help anyone who is trying to profit from this horrific situation. All I can do is give you antidotal evidence. In the equine/animal world unfortunately there is not a governing body such as the FDA for humans. Most animal health products have no studies and or testing at all unless it is a pharmaceutical. So, it truly is “Buyer Beware”. You MUST do your own research and do what is best for your horse, and absolutely work with your vet. Do not just listen to armchair quarterbacks who believe they know what is best. If they haven’t truly studied or worked in the field of the product then please use caution. As many of you have seen, when you ask a question of FB, you get as many different opinions as people answering.
As stated above many do not have true clinical studies. It is common practice to use “antidotal” evidence as a study. What does this mean? Basically, it is taking all the testimonials from people who have tried or used a product and using that as the evidence of the value of the product. The more testimonials over a long period of time, the better.
Nebulizers have been used for years in fire situations. Smoke inhalation from barn and wildfires can have devastating consequences. I personally have worked on many, many horses after a major fire disaster, but I work with the vets in the area. They know or learn the product I use. Or they have a mixture they want to use on specific horses based on the damage to the respiratory system. What I believe the vets have the most issue with, is the fly by night colloidal silver makers or home-made cures. And do not even get me started on the ones wanting to use Essential Oils in a nebulizer! Aroma therapy IS NOT respiratory therapy (we have a great article explaining it on our website) and you can do more damage that good. If someone wants to use a product with essential oils in it…run!!!! While people may believe these things work wonders on their personal horses, does not mean they are for the masses. Chelated and Colloidal silver are completely different. Colloidal silver can be made in your garage with a $49 apparatus. There is no testing for PPM (Parts per Million) efficacy and whether it is made in a sanitary manor is anyone’s guess. Typically, it is 10-15 parts per million, listed as a dietary supplement and the FDA warned against its use as far back as 1991. You will see claims that it kills everything from chiggers, acne, leprosis and bubonic plague. If it had all these wonderful abilities, why is it not under FDA guidelines and the whole world using it? Chelated silver HAS to be made in a lab. There are no machines you can purchase to make it yourself. The product we use was developed by a vet in Lexington KY over 14 years ago and designed specifically for nebulizing. It is made in an FDA approved lab, bottled in an FDA approved bottling company and follows FDA guidelines. It is typically 100-110 ppm and has a certificate of analysis on every batch. Meaning it is tested to prove the PPM and efficacy. It has been used by many of the top vet clinics in the world and used in many universities. Chelated silver has a true study done by JAG showing it has 32 times the efficacy of Colloidal silver (study on our website). It is endorsed and approved by the 3 true nebulizers on the market, Centurion, Flexineb and EquiResp. If you decide to use a silver in a nebulizer on your horse, please make certain what it is. Ask your vet to research it for you if they don’t already know.
Many Equine Therapist in the affected area are offering treatments. If they are using an EquiResp most have been in contact with me to ensure they are doing what is best and or they are working with a vet. And I am sure the ET’s using the other nebulizers are doing the same. All 3 companies who make nebulizers (Centurion, Flexineb and EquiResp) have antidotal studies of using nebulizers in these situations. I personally have worked on horses that were so severely burned their skin sloughed off. We nebulized to keep the horse from developing pneumonia. And we started nebulizing as soon as the horses were brought to a safe area. This was under a vets supervision.
Bottom line, you need to be aware of what is being used on your horse, whether it is a supplement, homemade concoction, or name brand. Your horse can’t tell you if it is hurting or harming them. It is up to you to be responsible enough to research. If you need to find an equine only vet, the AAEP, American Association of Equine Practitioners has a link on their website to help you find an equine vet in your area. And please, please if you are questioning a product, ask your vet, not Facebook!