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Pet Microchips Cause Cancer?

x-ray of a microchip implanted in pet

I saw this alarming article today:

Dogs suffer cancer after ID chipping

The article describes some instances where dogs implanted with microchips have developed tumors at or near the implant site.  From the article:

That’s the question owners are asking after highly aggressive tumors developed around the microchip implants of two dogs, killing one and leaving the other terminally ill.  The owners – and pathology and autopsy reports – suggest a link between the chips and formation of fast-growing cancers.
A 5-year-old bullmastiff named Seamus died last month after developing a hemangio-sarcoma – a malignant form of cancer that can kill even humans in three to six months, explains privacy expert, syndicated radio host and best-selling author Dr. Katherine Albrecht.  Albrecht, an outspoken opponent of implantable microchips, has been contacted by pet owners after their animals experienced what they believe to be side effects from the procedure.
According to a pathology report, Seamus’ tumor appeared between his shoulder blades last year, and by September a “large mass” had grown with the potential to spread to his lungs, liver and spleen.  Seamus underwent emergency surgery, and doctors extracted a 4-pound, 3-ounce tumor from the dog.

It goes on to detail the case of a Yorkie that developed cancer between the shoulder blades where a chip was implanted.

While this article takes an alarmist tone,  and the “expert” cited obviously has an anti-microchip agenda,  it still concerns me a bit.   Not for my own dogs, because they do not have chips.  (I suspect that no shelter within 50 miles of our little town has even heard of microchips.)   However, I wonder if others might be unknowingly exposing their dogs to a cancer risk.

I suppose that it comes down to this:  pet owners should have the best information available to enable them to make an informed decision weighing the risks of the microchips against the benefits of possible recovery if the pet is lost.

What do you think about this?  Do any of you have any experience with pet microchips?  The comments section awaits your wisdom.

Oh, and just so you know, my dogs have collars with attached nameplates with contact information.  We may not have microchip scanners around here, but most of the local population can read and use a phone.

Click here for an excellent article about what information to put on a nameplate collar.


5 Responses

  1. Hey…. I’ve got an award dedicated to you… Just it out at my blog… It’s the Over The Top Award…. 🙂 Congrats :)….

    – PM

  2. Interesting article – haven’t heard of Microchips causing cancer yet, but who knows…if there were cases then I’m sure that most of those would have been hidden for a while in order to not hurt the machinery/industry behind the vet community. And since they have now just made it mandatory for all dog owners to chip their dogs, there’s no way around the legal bodies :-(.

    Having said that – I absolutely agree with what you say: a proper collar with a name tag and phone number / email of the owner is soooo much more valuable than any microchip! My dachshund disappeared a few years ago and the shelter called me up to tell me that he was sitting on their couch, eating dog treats and enjoying himself ;-)… well, that call was due to the tag containing my phone number, NOT the microchip. Most shelters can’t afford to buy one of those scanners and cities or county offices don’t provide those free of charge to shelters yet. So it’s only the vet hospitals or a few who can afford the scanners who can actually make use of it.

    The whole microshipping hadn’t been thought through from A to Z.. and that’s why it’s quite messy and definitely not what or where it should be.

  3. Yes but in the event your dog is taken/stolen from you the name plate probably will not help you find them.

    Under such circumstances, a microchip will.

  4. Has everyone forgot about tattooing? This has been and is currently done by petowners who KNOW the hazzards of chips aside from cancer, and know this is the best most effective recovery method. won’t cause cancer,and being visible not relying on a scanner., will deter a person from KEEPING THE FOUND PET,which is happening today, as a good 60% of the chipped animals never seem to be recovered. for those who really want to check this out, go to http://www.tattoo-a-pet.com in business since 1972 boasting a 99% documented recovery. If you find a tattooed pet call. A their “hotline” 24/7 live 1 800 TATTOOS (828-8667)
    A HOTLINE TAG is also included in the lowcost $35.00 tattoo and lifetime registration. They have agents and vets all over the US who painlessly provide the procedure taking only a few minutes. my dog is protected,
    i wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • My boxer Major just had a growth/tumor removed yesterday, July 16, 2012. A growth popped up overnight between his shoulder blades. I called the vet the very next day which was Monday….the vet looked at it and I said I don’t care what it is cut it out. Major’s microchip was sticking out of the side of the tumor and now we are waiting on the results of the tumor from the pathology report. I had no idea that microchips could cause tumors or cancerous tumors in dogs. major’s microchip was implanted in 2010.

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