Does anyone know the side-effects of a microchip in a dog?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by CovenantCreek, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    My 3 yr old Corgi has been "off" for over a year -- first he was limping with no visible cause, then he started chasing his tail during the summer (two summers of this, and Pems don't have tails to chase), now he's standing/walking on his hocks rather than his toes. Complete blood panels have been run twice, the first time his protein level was bit high but the second time that was down where it should be. The acupuncturist recommended putting him on a potassium supplement, which we think is what helped with the protein level. He's also on Deramax daily, but he still wants to be curled up in his crate all day. He's lost all muscle tone in his hind end, too, and has trouble walking for more than a few minutes at a time.

    I've read some reports of the bad effects of microchips in horses (I think they were all in Europe, if that makes a difference) and it just occurred to me tonight that Chance was chipped when he was about 6 months old, and started me wondering if that might have something to do with this mysterious problem. Anyone have ideas where I can find reputable information that isn't based on conjecture or alarmist theories?
  2. snugglepup

    snugglepup Songster

    Apr 15, 2007
    Creedmoor, NC
    The only side-effectish thing I have read about is in something like <0.1% of pets developed a fibrosarcoma at the site of injection... however, that would not likely cause the symptoms you are describing. Fibrosarcs are very obvious, your dog would have an obvious, fast-growing lump.

    Pet microchips don't actually DO anything. They are completely inert. When a chip reader sends an RF pulse, the chip reflects back a unique number which is displayed on the reader (sorta). The chip is injected with a needle into the fascia/connective tissue beneath the skin. The symptoms you are describing seem more neurological to me... so it would be really hard for a chip to do that. If you are concerned that it may have migrated, a quick xray would show exactly where it is and if it is close to anything important.

    I am wondering if the symptoms are related or not. The tail chasing is something I have seen several times in corgis. Occasionally its due to an allergy causing the dog to be very itchy. Most of the cases I have worked with were diagnosed with OCD and successfully treated with medication. But then the hind limb weakness suggests spinal cord injury. Nerve damage can cause a tingling/pins and needles sensation which I could easily see causing an animal to tail chase (or rump chase since he's a pembroke). Have you done a myelogram to look for a disk problem? The other thing I would think about would be maybe tick borne diseases.
  3. Gonzo the Great

    Gonzo the Great Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    Sugar Land, TX
    I wouldn't think there would be any...unless everytime he barked, the TV channels would change? [​IMG]
  4. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    HAHAHAHAHA That post made my day![​IMG]

    Nope, aside from site irritation and possible infection - zilch on the side effects.
  5. hollyclyff

    hollyclyff Songster

    May 18, 2007
    I agree with Snugglepup on the possible cause. Being dwarfs, I believe corgis are subject to disc disease just like Dachshunds. That wouldn't show up on blood tests.
  6. texasgirl

    texasgirl Songster

    May 27, 2007
    South Texas
    I have to agree with SP. I'd have disc disease/injury ruled out very first. A myelogram is expensive but I think worth it in this case. Those long bodied dogs can hurt their backs so easily, even just jumping off the couch.
    Have you seen more than one doctor about it? I'd think one of them would do a steroid round to see if it helped.

  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    My dogs are chipped. No side effects at all.
  8. hsm5grls

    hsm5grls Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    I would think as with anything when a foreign body is put into an animal or person you run a risk of a certain number of the population having some sort of side affect. Although it is probably extremely rare. I am not suggesting this is what is happening in the case of your dog I think the other comments are more likely. I think the benefits of the micro chip and the fact that almost no one has had a problem with the micro chip that the benefits out weigh the risks, but I am sure that there are at least a few cases where an animal has had some sort of reaction to the chip. Just my 2 cents.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The only documented thing that *may* be a side effect of microchipping is, as snugglepup says, the development of fibrosarcoma at the injection site -- note that this has little or nothing to do with it being a microchip as such, it's a reaction to a wound/foreign body, of which a microchip happens to be an example. It's really rare, and you'd know it because of the fast-growing lump that forms.

    I can't imagine why your vet has not suggested further neurological workup, because that is sure exactly the kind of problem it sounds like to me (abnormal sensation in hind end, loss of muscle tone and abnormal posture/movement back there...). If your vet is more of a general basic small-animal person, it might be worth trying to get a referral to more of a specialist in long-bodied dog vertebral problems, or a vet school.

    Good luck,

  10. Dodgegal79

    Dodgegal79 Songster

    Dec 1, 2007
    Princeton BC Canada
    Yes check into neurological or spinal. Corgis are very long and prone to spinal issues. Sounds like he has something pressing on or a pinched nerve in his spine.

    The only issues with a microchip are the possible of the sac forming around them and they can migrate under the skin. I've seen people have to scan a dog all over to find the chip.

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