The joy I get from being a veterinarian is being able to improve the health of someone’s pet. Relieving an animal from a health problem that causes pain or disease, typically also makes the owner very happy, thus improving the quality of life for both the owner, pet and veterinarian! On the other hand, the difficult part of being a veterinarian is not being able to adequately improve the health of a pet. This is extremely frustrating for me as a veterinarian and also for the pet owner. As a practitioner, client animals present daily with significant periodontal disease. In most cases, the owner feels guilty when they realize they have missed the problem, or they feel even more guilty, because they know that their pet’s teeth need attention, but for financial reasons, they can’t afford a dental prophylaxis.
As in humans, preventative dental care for our pets is critical. It became obvious to me that the current standard of preventative dental care in dogs and cats using dental diets, dental treats and hoping that clients brush their pet’s teeth were not working adequately. My frustration with 70-80% of my client’s pets having periodontal disease soon turned into a passion to develop something unique that would significantly reduce the number of pets with periodontal disease. To be successful, the product needed to be safe, effective, simple and affordable.
As a veterinarian with a Ph.D., I had the opportunity to work at the University of California, San Diego. While in San Diego, I was responsible for many animal species, but was assigned the task of taking care of frogs in water tanks. The frogs were getting a disease called “Red Leg,” which is nothing more that a skin disease resulting from bacterial infections. This was an opportunity to test an idea I had. I had read that silver colloid was a good antibiotic. I cultured the frog water and found it contaminated with two common types of bacteria. I also quantitated the amount of bacteria in the tanks. I actually made my own silver colloid and poured about 20 parts per million in one tank housing a frog and then used a combination of 5 different known antibiotics and poured this mixture into another tank housing a frog. The next day, I cultured the water from both water tanks. The water from the tank with the mixture of 5 antibiotics showed a significant decrease in the number of bacteria in the tank. To my astonishment, the water from the tank with the silver colloid was sterile, it had actually killed all the bacteria. The next day, I cultured the water again. Because bacteria multiply quickly, the number of bacteria in the frog water that had the 5 antibiotics started to increase. Culture of the frog water with the silver colloid was still sterile, no bacteria present! Best of all, the frog in the silver colloid treated water was getting better and the other frog continued to have skin lesions. It was this early experiment that led me to develop a safe, effective, simple and affordable product to treat periodontal disease in dogs and cats.