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Microchips & Cancer?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Is the recent study linking microchips to increased cancer rates in mice a cause for concern?? Does anyone think this means we should take out our cats' microchips?

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h...2bdR1YdCo8OgXA
post #2 of 18
LOL.

No one will agree with me on this, but everything causes cancer and everything prevents cancer. Thats the way it seems. 1 study will say something is carsenogenic, then the next will say no its anti-carsenogenic.

My .02
post #3 of 18
I think, that yes, microchips can cause cancer. But so can vaccines, & so does radiation, & so does..... Get my point? Yes, there is a risk with everything. You've got to weigh the risks. vs. the benefits.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DIEGO View Post
LOL.

No one will agree with me on this, but everything causes cancer and everything prevents cancer. Thats the way it seems. 1 study will say something is carsenogenic, then the next will say no its anti-carsenogenic.

My .02
While I understand where this sentiment comes from, I personally can't brush off a scientific study that causes a respected doctor to say "There's no way in the world, having read this information, that I would have one of those chips implanted in my skin, or in one of my family members," (quote by Dr. Robert Benezra, head of the Cancer Biology Genetics Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York).

However, I'm not quite clear whether the chips tested are the same as those implanted in pets so I'm trying to elicit others' thoughts on the matter...
post #5 of 18
Those chips have been around for a long time. If there was a problem with them, we'd have known about it by now. Until I see actual valid, scientific data that states these things are an issue, I won't be concerned about it. I lost my older cat to vaccine induced fibrosarcoma, so I am especially sensitive to this issue. But I remain skeptical, I do not believe these things are a problem in dogs and cats. Both of my cats are chipped and will stay chipped.
post #6 of 18
I have one cat that's chipped and one that's not.

I WAS going to get my second kitty chipped, but when I went to the vet to have the scan my cat's chip(I had lost her paperwork and needed the chip #) it took them about 5 minutes to get the darn thing to scan. Soooo...that made me imagine my cat getting taken to the pound, then they scan once without success and then assume that she's not chipped. Therefore, it seems as though it may just be a worthless waste of money anyways.

Off topic, but don't they do ear tattoos or something like that? Maybe that would be the best way to go.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DIEGO View Post
LOL.

No one will agree with me on this, but everything causes cancer and everything prevents cancer. Thats the way it seems. 1 study will say something is carsenogenic, then the next will say no its anti-carsenogenic.

My .02
I agree... at one pt two medical studies said Broccoli could cause cancer

I am planning to both tattoo and chip my semi feral as her ear is cut and NO ONE is going to look for a chip if her collar is lost///

a few vindictive people have been known to cut the ears off of a tattoo ed animal
post #8 of 18
People cut the ears off?!?! That's horrible!

Is there somewhere else they can do the tatoo? Maybe on the inner thigh or something?
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TortieBaby View Post
People cut the ears off?!?! That's horrible!

Is there somewhere else they can do the tatoo? Maybe on the inner thigh or something?
I will have to leave that to the breeder on site as they likely know//
post #10 of 18
As someone who is dealing with a cat who does have a malignant sarcoma (although not from a microchip) I am very glad I never microchipped, as I am not going to do something to increase the chances of a malignant sarcoma any more. It's horrible to deal with, and my cat is not operable or treatable. We can only keep him comfortable. It is also a fast growing tumor.

We also only vaccinate according to current AVMA protocols for FVRCP and use adjuvant free Purevax vaccines for Rabies vaccinations.

It's bad enough that I'm guilt wracked about whether vaccinations he did not need when he was younger contributed to this. Our current vet assures me it's not, but I can't help but wonder. The vet we went to before we moved here was pretty "old school" in their vaccination schedule, well after the protocol changed.

My cats wear collars with I.D. tags.
post #11 of 18
My cat (as some know) also possibly has cancer. His is probably lymphoma, and I'm sure not related to the micro chip he has. For me I know that there is nothing I am begining to accept that like people cats have a limited time on this earth and there is no way for us to know what that is. I am comfortable knowing I have done the best I can, but the most difficult thing for me to accept is that I could not protect him from this. For religous reasons I would never had a chip implanted in myself or a human family memeber, but all of my cats are chipped.

I did not have a chance to read the whole article, but without reading the actual study I can say it would not change my choice to chip my cats. Having had a class on research what I read in the article raised more questions than answers for me. I also believe that with the vast number of animals that have been chiped (I know that the humane society in our area chips all animals before they are adopted) I would guess that the rate of cancer is low. In addition to this I can tell you that the chances of having a lost pet returned without a chip is very low. At our shelter we just had a cat come in a Saturday & get returned to his owner because he was chipped. She is in the process of moving & when they showed her appartment they accidentaly let him out, but his chip allowed him to be reunited with his loving Mom. So for now it seems that the likely hood of cancer is small enough to be worth the possiblity that I would get any one of my babies back.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rang_27 View Post
In addition to this I can tell you that the chances of having a lost pet returned without a chip is very low. At our shelter we just had a cat come in a Saturday & get returned to his owner because he was chipped. She is in the process of moving & when they showed her appartment they accidentaly let him out, but his chip allowed him to be reunited with his loving Mom. So for now it seems that the likely hood of cancer is small enough to be worth the possiblity that I would get any one of my babies back.
The big problem I have with that argument is a lot of shelters do not have a chip reader at all. Then you have to hope they have a chip reader that recognizes chips other than that particular company's chips. I did work at a shelter, and cats with collars and tags often do get reunited with their owners. However, most cats don't wear them. Dogs were reunited more often because of their license/rabies and ID tags.

My other problem with the chips is this quote from Itchmo.com:
Quote:
The Associated Press is reporting the results of these studies were not made public by microchip companies or federal regulatory agencies. When the FDA was asked which studies they were aware of, they declined to answer. Microchip companies and even the American Medical Association said they were unaware of these studies.
The 3 studies showed anywhere from 1%-10% of mice in the studies developed cancer. It's only recently that they have started pushing microchipping of every animal. Those aren't odds I want to play around with. I think they need to do more research, one of the Drs quoted said they felt there should be a 20 yr study done to see what biological effects the chips do have on the animal.
That's my I'll step off my soapbox now.
post #13 of 18
I don't disagree that it is scary, but since I had that class stories like this put up big red flags for me. Maybe if I read the actuall research report for the study I would feel differntly. I can just tell you my first thoughts were, "I wonder what the normal rate of cancer in mice is, were the mice all being fed the same thing and what was it, what were the ages of the mice, how long did they have the chip before the developed cancer." I agree there need to be more studies, we have a good idea of the risks of the regular shots they get, but no good idea about this. My concern is that I would hate to see people running out & putting their animals through a surgeory to remove the chips without more information.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rang_27 View Post
I don't disagree that it is scary, but since I had that class stories like this put up big red flags for me. Maybe if I read the actuall research report for the study I would feel differntly. I can just tell you my first thoughts were, "I wonder what the normal rate of cancer in mice is, were the mice all being fed the same thing and what was it, what were the ages of the mice, how long did they have the chip before the developed cancer." I agree there need to be more studies, we have a good idea of the risks of the regular shots they get, but no good idea about this. My concern is that I would hate to see people running out & putting their animals through a surgeory to remove the chips without more information.
I don't think I would go as far as removal surgery. That's sounds very extreme. But I could see people panicking and doing just that.

You have a very good point on cancer rates in mice (and other rodents). I had a mouse and a gerbil, and both died from complications of tumors (I couldn't tell you what kind, we never had them biopsied--just checked at the vets when we saw them). I wish I would have known how old they were... They were rescues and I know they were very old for rodents. But anyway, it seemed like a common cause of death for pet rodents from what the vet said.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
I don't think I would go as far as removal surgery. That's sounds very extreme. But I could see people panicking and doing just that.
I can too because I've been known to panic myself. I also want to add I understand why you feel that 1 to 10% is too high of a chance. I know that what your going through with Raven has been very difficult. I guess since having that class I just get up on my soapbox and start preaching but more studies should be done so that people can make informed decisions for their pets.
post #16 of 18
I totally agree with you that there need to be more studies done. 1-10% seems awful high, and definitely a wide difference between those studies. I like the idea of the 20 yr study that the one doctor mentioned.
post #17 of 18
The way I see it...even if the risk is as high as 10% (which i agree with others..i would want to know more about how the trial was structured) but even if it is 10% i would rather take a 10% chance that one of my girls might get cancer than risk a possibly higher chance of them being lost or stolen. Both my girls are chipped....and i will not be rushing out to remove their chips, but i might research the situation more before i put a chip in any future cats
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rang_27 View Post
I can just tell you my first thoughts were, "I wonder what the normal rate of cancer in mice is, were the mice all being fed the same thing and what was it, what were the ages of the mice, how long did they have the chip before the developed cancer."
That was my first thought to, especially when I got to the part in the article where it said none of the studies used control mice. Some lines of mice are predisposed to tumors and will develop them independent of whatever is being tested. Without carefully selected control mice, there is no way to know whether the 1-10% is more than normal for that particular group of mice:

"Caveats accompanied the findings. "Blind leaps from the detection of tumors to the prediction of human health risk should be avoided," one study cautioned. Also, because none of the studies had a control group of animals that did not get chips, the normal rate of tumors cannot be determined and compared to the rate with chips implanted."
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