Microchips: Are Pet Owners Being Misled?

Dog with Vet

Microchips: Are Pet Owners Being Misled?

If you have a pet, you’ve most likely had them implanted with a microchip. They are marketed as a safe and permanent form of ID for our fury family members, should we ever get separated. And, you can get your animal chipped just about anywhere, from your vet to a pop up booth at the mall. However, did we all just jump on the bandwagon without giving it any thought? Are there health risks associated with the implants?

We are told that they are safe, and the pharmaceutical giant Merial says scientific studies show them to be painless, and well tolerated with no risk of itchiness, allergic reactions or abscesses. Merial also claims that in Europe, not one chip has ever been rejected by the body. However, there are studies showing otherwise, as well as “adverse microchip” reports to the contrary, by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

From the Dogs Naturally Magazine article:

“Scientific studies involving mice and rats show that test animals have developed aggressive and lethal microchip-induced cancerous growths. Scientific reports also show that chipped zoo animals have developed microchip-associated cancerous growths.  Medical reports and scientific studies also reveal that dogs and cats have developed aggressive cancerous growths at the site of their microchip implants.”

But it’s not just cancer:

  • In 2009, a Yorkshire Terrier named Scotty developed epitheliotropic lymphoma at the site of his Schering-Plough Home Again microchip implant.
  • In October 2010, a lawsuit was filed in the US by Andrea Rutherford against Merck Sharp & Dohme and Digital Angel Inc. because her cat, Bulkin, developed cancer at the site of his Home Again microchip implant. The lawsuit is pending.
  • A 1.6 kg, six-week-old Tibetan Terrier was admitted with a 12 hour history of acute onset of progressive tetraparesis following insertion of a microchip to the dorsal cervical region, in the UK.
  • In 2004, the BSAVA reported that a kitten died suddenly when it was chipped, as the chip had migrated to the brain stem.
  • In 2009, a young Chihuahua named Charlie Brown died within hours of being chipped, from “an extreme amount of bleeding” from the little hole where the microchip was implanted.
  • An 8 month old American Pit Bull Terrier named Hadden was euthanized at the Stafford County, Virginia, Animal Shelter after the scanner used to read his chip could not detect the implant.

Still, many feel the risks are justified. However, as vets and animal shelters are not required to report adverse reactions, we can’t know just how rare it may or may not be; these issues are likely underreported.

The makers of the chips also feel that microchipping can reduce the number of pets in shelters, yet the claim has not been substantiated by accurate, long-term, independent studies.

More from the article:

“There have been concerns about the implanted chip causing problems; various Internet ‘urban legends’ have tried to link microchips and a rare form of cancer. To date, we are not aware of any scientific data confirming this. In our opinion, the risk is negligible to nonexistent.” Dr. Ellen Friedman DVM: Newburgh Veterinary Hospital; Newburgh, NY.

But pet owners know differently. Evidence has shown microchip implants to be unreliable and potentially dangerous. So, it’s important that we educate ourselves about the potential risks, share the information with others, with our vets, and with local animal shelters. And lastly, we must work to prevent restrictive legislation from being enacted. We must protect our pets.

Source: Dogs Naturally Magazine

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Erin Elizabeth


Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site HealthNutNews.com is barely 4 years old, but cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original work which have attracted international media coverage. Erin was the recipient for the Doctors Who Rock "Truth in Journalism award for 2017. You can get Erin’s free e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vaccine injuries, Lyme disease, significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

  • Debra O’Bryant Haworth

    You are right, we should question everything we are being told by these companies and corporations who have been proven to put profits over safety. It’s left up to us to investigate the facts. I’m not liking these stories. My dog died of cancerous growths. He had a chip. I know overvaccinations, gmo’s,unfiltered water, household and yard toxins, toxic foods and chemical pollution all play their roles in our society now. But why add anymore if we can help it. Some may argue the benefit of being able to track a lost pet would be worth it. But why not find and develope a better safer chip instead of just turning a blind eye to the status quo and believing unquestionally the manufacturer’s say so? Thank you Erin!!

  • Robert Sexton

    Is it expensive to get the chip removed

  • Lynne

    Always tag you dog on his collar. This enables the person who finds your dog to ring you immediately. If your pet is taken to the vet, you may not be notified for at least 24hours.
    Which means you are up for the expenses of an overnight/s stay at the vets!

  • ned kelly

    no problems with my cats or dogs, after 5 yrs…..whew

  • cutie_pi

    Unless they lose their collar, of course. Mine do regularly.

  • Bonnie Gray

    They cannot be removed.

  • Bonnie Gray

    Erin, as a Veterinary Technician for over 25 years, I have to say I am extremely disappointed with this article. Spreading misinformation and urban legends is adding fuel to the fire. I enjoy just about everything you write. But this article is misleading and just simply untrue. Microchiping is not unreliable. What the problem is, is owners fail to register thier microchips, they do not keep thier information up to date, or if the pet is surrendered to a rescue group or given to another party the owner”forgets about the chip” and information is never transferred over. This is the biggest problem. There is a standard with Microchiping, they have to meet certain standards. They have to be an ISO, universal, and so many MhZ — this is required for international travel. This is for your pets protection as well into and out of Countries that have a higher rate of canine/feline viruses, ie Rabies. This is what these requirements are for. All Shelter, “Pounds” etc can receive a Universal Scanner just by making a simple phone call. If they choose not to do this that is definitely on thier conscience. If I lived in the area, I would walk up and give them the $200-300 it costs to purchase one. Yeah, not expensive are they!?! You bring us such good information. I am disappointed with the research that went into this article. Maybe next time you can team up with a Vet friend. Microchiping has returned so many pets to thier owners, even after being missing or stolen after years. It also is part of the form of providing proof of ownership in stolen dog cases and has been able to get dogs home safely to thier rightful owners. Then the thieves are then prosecuted. Please Erin, I’m pleading with you on this one, don’t turn people away from Microchiping thier pets by spreading misinformation.

  • Bonnie Gray

    Or Stolen….

  • InsanelyBright

    You are one dim bulb. Several suits have relied on actual science to prove rfid causes cancer.

  • InsanelyBright

    Not true, Bonnie.

  • Tammy Ritchie

    I keep my cat indoors and she has no desire to escape. After having bad experiences of indoor/outdoor cats (loss of tail, ingesting toxins, Feline leukemia, run away) as a child (and my formerly emaciated stray cat that we have adopted has a clubbed tail and ended up with a hole in her neck, now healed) I felt that the outdoors was not a safe place for a cat. If more people think this way, there would be less dead cats on the road and there would be no need for microchips.