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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Removing Microchips?

I have other emails that readers have sent me that are older than Mandie's, but hers really struck my interest, and is something I've never written about.  So hers goes first!

I would like to know the reality of removing a microchip from a pet. I adopted a dog from a "rescue" (one slightly neurotic woman) and have had the dog for 3 years. She refuses to transfer ownership of the microchip to me, preferring instead to simply add my information to hers. I'm sorry, but if my dog gets lost, I want to be sure I am the one that is called first, not her. I don't feel this is right. So I am wondering if it would be difficult, painful or dangerous to the dog to simply have the current one removed and my own put in. My dog is also only 3 pounds so I am worried of putting her at risk. 

One of the best things about microchips is that they are essentially permanent, and it is nearly impossible to remove one.  In the majority of situations this is a huge benefit, as someone can't simply make an incision and take out the chip, thus the identification of the owner is difficult to change.  However, this benefit turns into a major hassle in a situation like Mandie's.

I've never personally removed a microchip and would need a darn good reason to try.  These chips are small and are inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades.  When trying to remove one it can be a huge challenge because when it's been in place for a while it's nearly impossible to precisely identify the chip's location.  It should still be subcutaneous, but that can be a rather large area even in a tiny dog.  To fully explore the area I would need to make an incision several inches long and then carefully tease apart ("dissect") the tissues in the area and hope to find it.  If I was lucky it would be a minor surgery of only a few minutes duration.  However, if it was particularly deep it would take much longer and cause more trauma (though this should heal).

An x-ray may be able to localize the microchip a bit.  They show up very clearly on radiographic images and you could get a good idea of around which vertebrae it is.  However, there is still some movement so there would still be some exploration necessary.

Mandie, I sincerely sympathize with this situation, and agree that the previous owner is being unreasonable.  Your situation is certainly one in which I personally would consider the attempt at removal, though I wouldn't go against any other vet who refused to do so.  It wouldn't be easy.  The size of the dog in this case may actually be a benefit, as sometimes the chip can be felt under the skin in very small pets, and the area that would need to be searched is much smaller.  

If this was my patient, I'd first try to feel it.  If I could, it should be a minor procedure to remove it.  If it wasn't palpable I'd recommend x-rays to get a better idea of the specific location.  Then I'd have a long talk about the safety of anesthesia and surgery.  Mandie, this is something to discuss with your own vet, as there are different methods of anesthesia and different drugs, some safer than others.

I wish you the best of luck!

33 comments:

  1. Let me give a slightly different perspective on this. Please keep in mind that I know none of the parties involved in this. The situation could be exactly as described or perhaps the adopter has some nefarious reason for wanting the chip removed. That certainly does not sound like the case but again… we can all pretend to be anything we want behind the anonymity of a computer.

    As someone who runs a small scale private rescue out of my home I can tell you that if I ever got wind of such a thing being done with one of my former placements I would file legal actions so quickly the heads of all parties involved (including the vet) would spin in a full circle. My current adoption contract does not specify what actions are or are not allowed regarding a dog’s chip but it certainly will from here forward.

    I keep my name on the chip for a number of reasons:

    1) When I pull a shelter dog I take responsibility for that dog for the remainder of his or her life. I’ve often spent a significant investment in personal funds to get him healthy, on average he has been in my home for several months while work to teach him how to be a good family member (house breaking, basic manners, some leash skills). In other words I have bonded with the dog and the only reason I’m shedding a few tears and letting him move on to a home of his own is so that I can help another dog that might not have a chance without me.

    2) No matter how hard I screen adopters (and my process is a very thorough one) I have still had adopts go south after months or even years. People go through life crises, develop mental health issues, have family issues beyond their control. There are a multitude of reasons why a well loved dog may suddenly be low on the list of priorities. I want to always ensure I am there as a safety net for my former fosters.

    3) If any of my former dogs is ever picked up by animal control as a stray or ends up in a shelter I want to be darn sure I know about it. I’ve loved this dog… what if his or her new people (for whatever reason) don’t want him back? I sure don’t want this dog who I’ve worked so hard to save to end up euthed just because the shelter couldn’t use his chip to contact me. I’d have a discussion with the adopters and dependent on the circumstances the dog may or may not go back to them. Accidents happen… even to us rescuers so if it was a simple “oops” then no worries – the adopter can have the dog back and we will all take it as a lesson learned.

    Please understand that I am not in any way making a judgment call on any of the parties involved in the case under discussion in this post. The rescuer in this case may indeed be disreputable and the adopter may indeed be right on the mark with her assessment of the situation. However, I wanted to share the view from the other side of the street and say that there are numerous valid reasons why chips are often handled this way by legitimate rescues.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your perspective of it, and I totally understand your point of view. Having been in rescue myself in the past, I can see myself taking advantage of this technology in the same manner were it available back then as it is now. And honestly, I wouldn't mind the rescue lady remaining on the chip as a contact - a SECONDARY contact.

      When she first refused to give control of the chip to me I thought her reasons were probably what you talked about, so I asked if she would at least make us the PRIMARY contacts so that if the unthinkable were to ever happen, we would be the first ones contacted, not her. But she refuses to do even that much. And that is what I think is unreasonable especially considering that she lives nearly 2 hours away.

      We live in tornado alley and if a tornado hits and the dog is yanked out of my arms, I won't be leaving the rubble until I find her alive or dead - I don't know that I could even survive losing her. The last thing I will need is to have no idea of where she is for days because she's being sent 2 hours away, then HOPE that this "rescue" (and I do use that term loosely, the woman was not stable) will contact me immediately and make all efforts to return the dog to me ASAP, and worse yet if I lose everything in a tornado I will NEED to see and hold my dog myself, I likely won't be able to drive 2 hours away to pick her up (or fight for her). Same if an accident happens and she just gets loose. I don't think it's unreasonable to be put as the primary contact so that we are the first ones contacted. I mean, say that we were crappy owners and decided we didn't want her anymore or dumped her - the rescue lady would still be contacted as a secondary contact after we ignored the call. And I have no problem with having her as a secondary back up in the event that a tornado were to leave such total devastation that I couldn't be contacted or if something were to happen to me.

      There's just no reason not to make us the primary contact and I don't like this woman having the power to get her hands on my dog and get the chance to not give her back because she's so crazy she might think I called the tornado down on purpose or something. I wouldn't have adopted the dog from her if I had known what she was like beforehand, but what's done is done and now I just want the peace of mind that I am not going to have my dog unfairly taken away or outright stolen (she could lie she doesn't have the dog if I called her.)

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    2. Is it possible to get the dog implanted with another chip? If you know the name of the company that has the chip information - isn't it possible to call them and update the information yourself? The so-called "rescue lady" is definitely over the top on this one. You should of course be the primary contact. If someone is in rescue and is that paranoid - it's time for them to get out.

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    3. I am sorry you have had no luck getting the rescuer to work with you. It sounds like you have had the dog long enough to have "proven" yourself as a responsible owner and moving the rescuer to a secondary contact with yourself as primary sounds like a happy compromise for all. I've never had anyone ask to have that change made but with the right owner with a good track record I do not think I would refuse.

      As for Blueberry's Human's comment... I do not think making the choice to be a lifetime saftey net for my former fosters is "paranoid". I actually think it is the only responsible way to rescue.

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    4. The "paranoid" part is not allowing the adopter to be the primary contact on the chip. I have no problem with the rescue being the secondary contact.

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    5. Sorry but as a rescue owner I keep all dogs microchips in my name and adopters are put on as secondary owners. My primary reason for doing this is so in the event of an accident (for example) in which the adopter is seriously injured or killed, and the dog is taken to a shelter, I can be contacted to go claim the dog so it does not end up being euthanized or rehomed with my knowledge. I also have a good personal relationship with most of the adopters of my dogs and none have ever complained about things being done this way.

      The other reason I do not list adopters first with me (my rescue) secondary is because then at any time the adopter can take my name and contact info off the chip and list someone else as secondary contact. While most wouldn't do this, you just can't be too careful these days.

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    6. This is simple in Kentucky File a Harassment Charges with the state and stalking. That you feel she will try to steal your pet. Now copy that report and e mail it to Home Again (Or who the chip is listed with) Call customer support!!! They will removed the psycho shelter lady from records completely. I did not want my pet chipped to begin with. Already had one pet die thanks to the chip implant giving him cancer on autopsy report not just me. Next you need to call the SPCA and report any shelter/rescue for animal abuse. Pet owners who want to risk the chip should only allow a qualified vet do the implant as the area should be numb and cleaned. You shelter people are horrible and should have to be implanted by someone with no experience as you are doing. My vet removed the implant when cleaning the infection it gave to my new puppy. we was in and out the same day and he was playing rough with the neighbors dogs within the hour. Refused to take chipped animals!!!

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    7. If you love something, let it go...that includes the shelter pet to its new human caretakers. You have absolutely no right to ownership after the adoption has gone through. You should be in the position of asking to remain on as a secondary contact, not that the new owners need to beg to be primary contacts. Thats the tail wagging the dog. The actions of the shelter folks who are speaking up here, open a whole line of fiscal and legal responsibility issues that should never be addressed. In the case of a lost pet, what if the rescue wants to pursue a course of action that is costly and untenable for the owners? Microchip registration is not an ownership document. You cannot make decisions for that pet legally, nor can you assume ownership because you dont like the chosen path of treatment a new owner may take. And lets say that a vet clinic did pursue treatment based on the shelter contacts permission, the owners are financially responsible still for the bill. What a sticky wicket that will be. Unless the shelter is willing to pay for it as a donation to the new owners. The perspective of the shelter owners here is not reasonable, nor legal. You can write up any owner contract you want, but its not enforceable, except possibly in small claims. The shelter people's actions are overbearing and over controlling in this forum.

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  2. Mandie here - Thank you so much for explaining what's involved with a microchip removal, and for including the ethical side of it for a vet. When I first took this particular dog in 3 years ago the vet said we'd have to get permission first. I'd like to think since it's been 3 years and she's gotten to know us well in that time and has commented on our excellent care of our dogs, she might reconsider if it came down to it. Especially since it's been 3 years and that kind of shows how unreasonable the rescue person is being.

    But honestly after reading what's involved, I'm not sure I want to put my dog through that over a microchip. As much as I would like to be in control of the microchip so I can always make sure the information is up to date and whatnot, maybe it would be better for my dog to let it go and just hope should the unthinkable ever happen, I can get her back quickly in spite of the rescue lady being a middleman, and that hopefully that lady won't refuse to give her back. :( Another concern is that if I should ever move, I may not be able to get in touch with this lady at some point in the next 13-15 years of this dog's life to give her my new information. Or what if the lady were to die? We would be screwed over. That worries me so much and it seems awfully unfair. I wish I didn't have that fear hanging over my head.

    I think I will let it go for now and wait until I need to take the dog to see the vet for some other reason, and then discuss the matter offhand with the vet while we are there and see if she will change her mind on the issue now that she's gotten to know us well, so that at least I know that will be an option should I need it.

    Thanks again, so much! - Mandie

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  3. Legal ownership of a dog is generally determined (barring a specific contract to the contrary) by who has the dog, provides vet care, and licenses the dog. So it is quite possible that with vet records and license records you could request that the microchip company change the contact info, without asking the other person's permission.

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  4. I adopted my boy Harley, who had a history of being bounced around, returned to the shelter, etc. Whomever the owner was when he finally got microchipped during that first year was still listed as the owner with that microchip's company. When I called about it, they said all I needed to do was provide them with a copy of the current adoption papers from me and they would switch the info for me.

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  5. Hmmm; not sure if my post went through so I'll post again:
    When I adopted my 8 y.o. ABH/Kelpie mix at 13 months, he had been in and out of homes for a year, being returned to the humane society twice. Whomever the owner was at the time of getting his microchip had surrendered him back and when I adopted him, I called the tracking company about the microchip info. They told me to submit the current adoption papers I had and they would update the info. Might be as simple as that for you. (That's also when I found out they had named him Dionysis.)

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  6. I can feel the chip on my dog even twist it around so im thinking if I could use a sharp razor blade make a small cut through skin in area were chip is then try and use my fingers to move and pop the chip out!!! WOULD THIS WORK OR WOULD IT HARM THE DOG PLEASE TELL ME AS IM SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING TRYING

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    1. Absolutely DO NOT do this, Daryl!!!! You will cause your dog unnecessary pain and could cause infection. Think about it for a moment. Would you want someone to hold you down, use a razor blade to cut completely through your skin, and then pull something out from underneath it? I would consider this animal cruelty if you did it.

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  7. of course you have the zealots who use the microchip to exert control over the animal even after someone else has adopted him/her.... these are control freaks who hide behind their im just being loving and benevolent about the pet story... fact is RFID CHIPS are bad and linked to cancer and other problems that most vets have different scanners for different chips so there is no way to ascertain that the chip installed can be read even if the pet is found.... They make this stuff look good and useful but the technology itself is bad and unhealthy for the pet just as are most of the vaccines..
    I think they try to hide this scary science behind a benevolence facade which is all that it is nothing more nothing less..
    First the pets to tag them next is you and then you become the property slave of another... all hidden behind our so called great science...NOT!!!

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  8. I had a microchip put into my last cat years ago. He suffered with head shaking, itching around the head and ears. I told the vet I was certain he was having an allergic reaction and that it interfered with his ability to just be happy and calm. He had no such issues when I took him in. The vet insisted it was impossible and refused to remove it. The cat literally went insane from the discomfort, ran out of the house and got hit by a car. I'm devastated I didn't find another vet and insist. For the past year I've been sharing a home with a woman who has two chihuahuas. One - who is 9 - has a long history of head shaking and ear itching; the dog is in constant discomfort and the vet can only say it's allergy. I looked at the dogs medical records and it began after the microchip was installed in his first year of life. I can't understand why anyone would not consider all these new "allergies" that animals have as a side effect of these chips? I have an allergy to metal and cannot tolerate foreign objects in my own body; what makes anyone think an animal is immune to it? I'm trying to talk her into having it removed when the dog is sedated for an upcoming dental issue. Does anyone else recognize these similar symptoms with their pets?

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    1. YES!!! My cat, she is behaving ultra sporadically! Not her usual calm and lax slightly grumpy self. My daughter allowed vet to microchip her, (which was COMPLETELY AGAINST MY WILL!!) I'm gonna have it removed from her if it KILLS ME!!! I believe is the effect of this foreign object insert under her skin. Would remove the damned thing myself if I KNEW EXACTLY HOW!? My wife & daughter's notice her strange and sporadic behavior. I'm most definitely gonna have it removed from her, (even if I hve 2 at gunpoint)..lmao,..but seriously!!

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    2. I wouldn't advise you do it yourself, but I would insist you find a vet who will. Though not many people are paying attention, there are numerous studies that proved these chips caused cancer in mice and rats before they were put on the market. I'm stunned these things were ever approved. There are now companies that offer a chip that can be slipped onto a collar and that can be read instead of placing this foreign nonsense into an animal. The FDA has already approved them for Alzheimer's patients, and are encoded with their medical records. If I were to be chipped, it would destroy me. Why not a safe bracelet?

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    3. I am having the same problems with the pomeranian I got after my grandmother passed away. She had her micro chipped, without our knowledge, and she is very skitish and paranoid all the time, plus itches her neck CONSTANTLY. I never thought it was the microchip but now will seriously consider getting it out if possible.

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  9. Honestly I have never seen or even heard of this kind of reaction from any microchip. While not impossible, I think it is highly unlikely to be the source of the problem. I'm sorry you lost your cat.

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    1. Thank you for the kind sympathy. However I would encourage you to consider this possibility when treating animals who were not having any issues prior to the chips being installed. There are documented studies that these chips did cause cancer in lab rats and mice, but were put on the market anyway. You may want to offer an alternative? There are new chips that slide onto safe collars. The pet's name and owner info can also be read with a cell phone.

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    2. Those students on rodents have been significantly criticized by many veterinary researchers and specialists, and there absolutely has not been rampant tumors in the pet population due to microchipping. Tumors can potentially happen after virtually any subcutaneous injection, and has been documented with antibiotics, vaccines, steroids, fluids, and so on. Can a tumor develop after a microchip? Yes, possibly. But the risk is very, very, very low. That's why I microchip my own pets (I try to practice what I preach).

      The problem with a chip on a collar is the same problem as with a name tag on a collar. The collar can be lost or taken off. If there is no collar it doesn't matter what form of identification is used, and a chip is no more secure than a simple metal or plastic tag. Implanting subcutaneous microchips is a much more secure way of identifying a lost pet, and I have seen numerous pets reunited with their owners due to microchips.

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  10. I'm in exactly the same position. Only difference is anibase won't give name of previous keeper. We want to go legal but no one knows who she is...even though she gave the puppy back to breeder as she said he was biting etc.( wow imagine a puppy biting) breeder can't remember her name. So we have hit a brick wall every time. We bought the dog from the breeder in good faith, and have had him for 2 years. If he went missing we would never know if he has gone back to previous owner or is lost for good..the thought of that looses me sleep at night...the law should be changed in cases like mine.
    I would gladly face her in a court and let the judge decide

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  11. I rescued a kitty I found frozen & starving outside in the dead of winter. I took her to the vet because her paws were cracked and had been bleeding, and she also had frostbite on the tips of one of her ears. Upon taking her to the vet, I found out she was pregnant. I knew nothing about kitty pregnancy and birth process, so I reached out to a local rescue group for advice. They volunteered to take her in as she got closer to giving birth, keep her until her kittens were weaned, and said I could then get her back. They failed to mention that in order for me to get her back, I would have to pay a $185 adoption fee. But, I paid it, and got my kitty back. While in their care, they also micro-chipped her, and listed the rescue as the primary contact and myself as the secondary. I have since moved from Minnesota to Florida, and I have been unable to make myself the primary contact, nor update my contact information as the secondary contact with the chip company, as the primary contact must do that. Since they are in MN and I am in FL, if my kitty ever gets out, I will not be able to be reached as I changed my phone number so I would have a local area code. I believed Ruff Start Rescue was a good rescue, but attempts to reach them via email & phone have gotten me no response. I can't help but think that not putting me as the primary contact might (and I mean might, not certainly) have to do with money. If I were still in MN and she got out and they were contacted first, I'm sure I'd pay another hefty amount to get her back. And the deal from the beginning was not that I was surrendering her to them, but that they would foster her and they could place the kittens, which she had 5, who were each adopted out to the tune of $200. Because of this experience, I no longer trust any rescue. In hindsight, I should have written a contract for them to sign, but, I took their word and trusted them. Never again. I definitely think the chip companies should allow the rightful owner to be the primary contact. Now, if my kitty gets out and is picked up and scanned, Ruff Start Rescue in Minnesota will be contacted, and because of my phone number change and inability to update my info as secondary contact, and the rescues inability to respond to my requests, she will likely end up at an animal control center or humane society, and my chances of getting her back will be very, very slim to none.

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    1. I said this early Contact the police the rescue is harassing you. get a copy of the report and sent it to the company who monitors the chip. they will help change the information. My vet in nky took the chip out of my pet before he got cancer. it was quick and simple and he was back to playing within the hour.

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  12. Stop Accepting Chipped pets! Micro chip is giving pets cancer tumors and the shelters who implant your pet is NOT a vet qualified. Any vet who refused to remove the chip saying how painful it is and dangerous is lying. The chip is not implanted in the muscle tissue its right under the skin. If you act quick enough you can push it right out after the butchers hurt your pet. its a money scam and your pets health is at stake. Do your homework search google and see page after page of chip leading to the death of pets. Or as Chris Bern has never hear of gives your pet ticks like twitching or pain in the implant spot. Your only to blame when something happens to your pet. and who will make the profit the vets who are pushing the implants. Sounds like win win to me for the good old vet.

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    1. I have been practicing for 19 years and have implanted countless microchips. All of my own dogs and cats have microchips, and I will continue to do so. I have never seen problems of any kind related to properly implanted chips. Yes abnormalities can happen, as with any medical procedure. But those are very rare and should not be treated as the norm.

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    2. With all due respect Dr. Bern, There are many seemingly innocuous things given to animals and people that can cause injury to those who have no tolerance for it. I knew my cat and I know the chip was causing him problems. I am a vaccine injured adult; but many argue that they are harmless. I also had a severe inflammatory reaction to metal clips placed in my breasts after a biopsy to mark the spot. I know I can't tolerate foreign anything in my body; so why not an animal? They are even more sensitive than most people. I would NEVER inflict that chip into another pet again. My hope is that through these discussions, you'll be aware that it could cause an issue for some animal in your practice. Don't overlook the possibility just because you love the product so much.

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    3. There are two fallacies here, wildcat, that many people fall into. The first is that because something is relatively harmless for the vast majority it is harmless for everyone. The other fallacy is the corollary: because it's dangerous for some it's dangerous for everyone.

      No reasonable person would ever say that vaccines were harmless for everyone. There are absolutely people who have serious reactions or have died from vaccines. However, there are untold millions who have been saved from serious illness or death because of vaccines, and diseases that have been pretty much eliminated from the globe due to vaccines (polio, smallpox). So do we continue to vaccinate because of the incredible data on the safety in the majority of people and the millions that are alive due to immunization? Or do we stop vaccinating because a small percentage have unfortunately become seriously ill or died?

      Look at foreign objects in the body the same way. In your case you can't tolerate them. But most other people do so with no problems whatsoever. Do we continue to use such things knowing that the majority of patients are fine and they are very helpful? Or do we completely stop doing so because a small minority could have a reaction?

      I will also completely disagree with your statement that animals are "more sensitive than most people". This is absolutely false. Many animals can tolerate certain medications that people. For example, human thyroid supplementation maxes out at 0.2mg. That's enough to treat a 20 pound dog, and in veterinary medicine our largest thyroid supplement is 0.8mg. Yes, cats and dogs can be more sensitive to SOME things than humans, but humans are more sensitive to some things than dogs or cats. There are also significant differences in sensitivities between species, such as NSAIDs in dogs versus cats. So there is no way to make a blanket statement that animals are more sensitive than humans.

      You may not realize it, but there is not a single product, drug, or procedure I do that doesn't carry the potential for some risk. There isn't a single medication or supplement in humans, even over-the-counter ones, that doesn't carry some risk. With every single patient on every single day I have to way the pros and cons of every treatment, surgery, and drug that I decide to use. I have to calculate the risk in an individual patient versus the potential benefits. So I am very, VERY aware that ANYTHING I do on a daily basis "could cause an issue for some animal in [my] practice." NOTHING I do, use, or prescribe is completely without risk, no matter how safe it may be for the majority of patients.

      What you may be getting confused on is what we call "idiosyncratic" reactions. These are problems that happen without expectation and without the ability to predict it. Believe it or not, we can't tell whether or not a patient will have an adverse reaction until it happens. I may vaccinate 10,000 pets without any problems at all, and then the next one will have a severe reaction. There is no way that I can tell just by looking at a patient whether or not it will have a reaction. And I can't put a patient at risk for disease by assuming that EVERY patient is that 1 in 10,000 case.

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    4. (my reply was so long, I have to split it)

      You were injured by vaccines. Does this mean that we should stop vaccine programs across the world that have helped millions upon millions of people? No, of course not. We know that virtually all people will be fine after receiving vaccines, and unfortunately there is no way for us to pick out the people who will react adversely. So we take the chance, play the odds (which are stacked significantly in our favor), and handle the rare bad situation when it comes up.

      Can microchips cause problems? Sure. But so can anything else we to or give pets. Will most or even a large minority of pets suffer because of microchips? Absolutely, unequivocally NOT! Millions of animals of various species have received microchips over the last 20 years, and less than a fraction of a percent have had any problems at all. I've known many pets who have been reunited with their owners because they lost their collar but had a microchip. Do you think those owners thought the microchip was worth it? Do we continue to use a product that we know is safe in 99+% of patients? Or do we deny them the possibility of safely returning because of a risk of less than 1%.

      If you had a 99% chance of winning the lottery would you spend $50 on a ticket?

      So to summarize, I am not ignoring the possibility of problems, and I'm more aware that you realize that EVERYTHING I do in my profession has potential side-effects, some of them serious. I'm just saying that we should be realistic and look at the likelihood of whether or not something will happen and weigh that against the potential benefits.

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  13. Dr Chris Berns DMV is it illegal by law to remove a microchip or re chip a dog if owner gave dog away a long time ago , but now wants to be kept on chip. or is this just a subject of ethics .with vets. .. Microchips are not proof of ownership just a means to reunite a pet if lost was my understanding, unless of course there is a written agreement between the two parties, then thats another subject.

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    1. It is certainly not illegal in the US. As far as ethically, I think it would depend on the vet. If it was my case I would want to ask questions and try to get in contact with the person originally registered with the chip. If all of that seemed on the up-and-up I wouldn't have an issue with it. However, the problem is that it would be tricky to find the chip and remove it. These are VERY small and unless it's a tiny dog where the chip could be felt it would be difficult to find. Microchip companies do have ways to change ownership registration, so I always recommend that as it's far less pain and trauma to the pet.

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  14. Hi Dr. Chris.

    I have this situation: We have an important number of trained dogs that sometimes spend the night in a dog pound managed by a supplier. All dogs have their chip and haven been identified in our database. However, some of these dogs have great skills in illegal sustances detection, so they are wanted by thieves. This lead us to think if is easy to the dog pound staff to take out the chip from a dog and put it into another animal with similar physic characteristics? There is another way to identify these animals? What would you do to minimize this threat?

    Thank you very much.

    Best regards.

    Jay P.

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