Safety of Microchip Implants

by Sue Ferrara
A 2009 study revealed 75 percent of microchipped pets are reunited with owners.

A 2009 study revealed 75 percent of microchipped pets are reunited with owners.

fergregory/iStock/Getty Images

To microchip or not to microchip? Pet owners, ponder the question. Veterinarians and animal welfare organizations encourage microchipping as a form of insurance. Lose your microchipped pet and the chances of being reunited increase. In 2007 though, an independent researcher reviewing a collection of studies raised concerns about potential microchip induced tumors in animals. The American Veterinary Medical Association acknowledged the findings; but the organization’s site notes, instances of these tumors are rare and unsubstantiated. "Tumors associated with microchips in two dogs and two cats have been reported, but in at least one dog and one cat the tumor could not be directly linked to the microchip itself."

Research Inconclusive

Katherine Albrecht, director of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, spoke about microchip induced tumors at a 2010 conference sponsored by IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Microchips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, are inserted between the shoulder blades of the animal. Owners register pets with databases and those with proper scanners can check chips for owner information. The American Veterinary Medical Association says the chances of a pet developing "cancer due to its microchip is very, very low."

Photo Credits

  • fergregory/iStock/Getty Images