If that headline caused you to stop and say “WHAT?” like I did then you are not alone…
I was on Facebook this week and a colleague posted this article: http://www.naturalnews.com/030108_microchips_animals.html
Acting as Rocco’s mom, and not “pet sitting business owner” I instantly emailed my wonderful vet, Dr. Casey of McDowell Mountain Animal Hospital. I was in horror after heading it becasue micro chipping was one of the first things my precious son received when I got him. Never did I want him to be lost forever. (Accidents DO happen.) But now – It could cause him harm? Even worse, cancer?!?! I
was already having thoughts of a retracting surgery to get it out of him.
By the end of the business day, Dr. Casey provided me the peace of mind I needed. We also discussed sharing it with you all – so here it is.
Dr. Casey said:
Truthfully, I strongly disagree with this claim. There were maybe 3 cases ever linked (and I say linked, not proven) to microchip implantation. ANY foreign material (be it antibiotics, medications, vaccinations, a cactus needle, or an ingrown hair) can cause an inflammatory reaction that can RARELY transform into cancer- especially in cats. Microchips have been created to be inert, so I think that the risk is so tiny and the benefits hugely out-weigh the risks.
The major culprit for these “injection site” reactions (not always a microchip) was the feline leukemia vaccine. This vaccine has since been re-formulated and is much safer. I micro-chipped all three of my “indoor” pets- escapes/fires happen- and I am not 1% worried about reactions. On the other hand, I do not vaccinate my indoor cats for feline leukemia (or any indoor cat), as the risk is still real (although extremely rare).
I believe that the pets that were adversely affected by microchips had some sort of predisposition to cancer “like a cancer gene” and it just took something benign to tip their cells over the edge. People are always looking for a simple explanation of WHY we get cancer. The truth is, there is no simple answer. . . you just have to weight the risks vs the benefits. I can tell you 100% that I have never seen a microchip-induced mass, lesion, tumor or even bump.
In addition, the article is flawed- the quote “useful in recovering lost pets because the devices store owner and medical information” is 100% untrue. The chip stores a 7-12 digit number that must be recorded in a data bank and a company keeps the information in a computer system- these implants are not active or carrying moving parts- they are a BARCODE- nothing more
Since we opened in 2009, we have had 3 reunions at our practice alone. These were chips that were implanted by other vets and detected with our universal scanner. We then contacted the microchip company and reunited these dogs with their worried owners:) The biggest weakness in the system is the fact that owners/ pet-parents must keep their information current with the microchip company. Nothing is more frustrating than finding a microchip, calling the company and finding out that the owner never registered the chip!
Moral of the story:
1) No, it does not cause cancer.
2) Make sure your information is up to date if your pet has a micro chip. Might even be a good idea to call and verify.
Dr. Casey is located at McDowell Mounatin Animal Hospital located at Bell Rd and Thompson Pk. www.mcdowellmtnvet.com/ 480-419-6300