What Are the Side Effects of Microchipping a Dog?

By Naomi Millburn

Although side effects are uncommon, microchipping a dog can sometimes bring upon varied effects such as temporary bleeding, hair loss, infection, abscesses and microchip migration. But the vast majority of dogs experience minimal or zero side effects from the implantation process.

The Benefits of Microchipping Dogs

Microchipping serves as reliable canine identification. If a microchipped pooch goes missing and winds up in an animal shelter or veterinary clinic, staff will use the microchip's unique ID code to contact you via the microchip provider's database. The procedure generally costs $25 to $50.

A microchip is injected subcutaneously between the shoulder blades; the routine procedure takes minutes and usually requires no anesthesia. The injected microchip is permanent, unlike ID tags and collars.

It's important to update you contact details. Changing contact information such as your phone number or address when either changes will ensure there's no delay in getting your pet back to you.

Cancerous Tumors and Microchipping

Author and veterinarian Jean Hofve, writing with Dr. Celeste Yarnall in "Paleo Dog," says cancer risk from a microchip is greater in cats than in dogs. Studies of microchipped dogs in the United Kingdom over 15 years found only two microchipped dogs had developed tumors; in one cases and possibly the other, tumors were not directly associated with microchipping. The American Veterinary Medical Association states that the odds of dogs getting cancer from microchipping are extremely minimal.

Possible Side Effects

Microchipping is a rather straightforward process. Some canines experience bleeding at the location of injection. This bleeding typically ceases swiftly with a little pressure. Since implantation chips are specifically made to not bring upon inflammatory responses, dogs usually don't develop swelling or soreness where they were implanted.

Other potential risks of microchips include abscesses, infection, loss of hair and microchip dysfunction. Problems can occur when veterinarians fail to implant the chips into the appropriate parts of the body.

Microchip Migration

Microchips are capable of migrating within pets' tissues; as a result, they occasionally can turn up in random areas. They're sometimes found behind dogs' necks or in their stomach regions, for example. Microchip migration generally occurs during the initial two weeks after implantation. The migration typically happens prior to the tissues surrounding the microchip healing and settling the chip into its appropriate position.

If you're concerned about microchip migration and your dog, take him to the veterinarian. The vet will be able to confirm whether the microchip is indeed situated in the correct spot. If a pet's microchip shifts under his skin, a complete scan should still be able to locate his microchip ID number.