Microchipping pets has been a hot topic in the news lately with the Pharmaceutical company Merck being served a lawsuit over claims its pet microchip product HomeAgain® induced cancer in a cat. More details on this case can be read here: Andrea Rutherford v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. and Digital Angel, Inc.
A microchip implant is an identifying integrated circuit placed under the skin of a pet that is about the size of a large grain of rice. The microchips are based on a passive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology which allows them to be scanned using a handheld scanner.
The FDA’s official statement is as follows "The potential risks to health associated with the device are: adverse tissue reaction; migration of implanted transponder; compromised information security; failure of implanted transponder; failure of inserter; failure of electronic scanner; electromagnetic interference; electrical hazards; magnetic resonance imaging incompatibility; and needle stick."
The American Medical Association’s (AMA) Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs’ (CEJA) 2007 report, entitled "Radio Frequency ID Devices in Humans," says microchip implants "may pose some physical risks, compromise patient privacy, or present other social hazards."
While complications and reports over microchipping pets appears to be rare, we would be interested in hearing our readers direct experiences with chipping their own pets if they have done so.