There is a whole lot of Bullchip around about pet microchips.

Who does not have trouble sorting through the information technology has provided to us?  Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson knows how difficult this is and makes it her business to empower people with the understanding of the manipulation and misinformation game powered by Big Money.

Anyone who watches TV probably sees advertisements for pharmaceuticals showing a happy family in the sunshine, together because their loved one takes their drug.  You would want to take that drug,  just to make sure you could be in that picture.   But in the background you can hear the side effects and anyone who listened, would only take that drug if it there was no other viable alternative.

We hear the happy reunification stories.  But there is no requirement for pet microchip manufacturers to inform consumers of the harmful side effects.   The packaging must show only the manufacturer or distributor.  The promotions and advertising for these products comes from various sources that cannot be held accountable.  So how much is misinformation?

Here are some common Bullchips about pet microchips:

Bullchip 1:  A microchip is the size of a grain of rice.  It is sometime said to be smaller than a grain of rice.  Some will say approximately and they will give you a picture, where that is clearly not true.   Various standard pet microchips are reported to be from 11 to 13 mm in length.  Half an inch is 12.7 mm.  Pet microchips are significantly larger than an average grain of rice.  The volume of the microchip in this picture is 3.5 times that of the grain of rice.

Bullchip 2:  A microchip is injected just beneath the skin (subcutaneously) and implant causes little pain.   Implant technique recommendations have become more invasive to address implant migration failures, calling for injecting microchips into the subcutaneous tissues using specially designed syringes, intentionally causing inflammatory response for the production of scar tissue.  Inflammatory responses continue until scar tissue is formed around the chip.  Studies on horses are used as the basis for short (three days) inflammatory response claims, while procedures are done on pets including small kittens and puppies.  Humans are reporting swelling and bruising at the time of implant, two to four weeks for scar tissue to form and itching and pinching sensations for up to two years.

Bullchip 3:  Microchips save lives.  Pets that have microchips may be more often returned to their owners after being lost.  Shelters may also retrieve more of their rescued pets after bad adoptions as a result of them having microchips.  These lives are considered saved.  However, the retrievals leave fewer opportunities for adoptions and less space in shelters.  At the end of the line, as long as the lost females are spayed, euthanasia due to overpopulation of adoptable pets is all the same.

Bullchip 4:  The risk of microchips causing cancer is insignificant.  The reporting on tumors is deceptive because reporting is not generally required and only tumors that grow on the microchips are considered.  Cancer rate and chronic inflammatory disease studies are missing from the analysis.

Bullchip 5:  Microchip implants are passive devices that only activate by a scanner.   The implanted device consists of an antenna, capacitor/tuner and chip.  Only selective frequencies are allowed to activate the chip that modulates the field in a manner that is read by the scanner as backscatter.   However, the antenna is not a selective receiver and can intercept, generate current with, and re-radiate other electromagnetic waves in the environment even if the chip itself is not activated.   The components of pet microchips can consist of ferrous materials and so there are also hazards from MRI and magnets.  There are potential hazards from stray electromagnetic fields.

Bullchip 6:  Microchips consist of electronic components encased in bio-compatible glass.  These are the chips most commonly displayed.  However, manufacturers have added polymers to bond (interact) with the tissues of the animal to prevent migration.  These polymers can contain all kinds of toxins as impurities that migrate to the surface over time.  Bio-bond is a porous polypropylene.  Datamars has introduced an entirely polymer encapsulated pet microchip with an undisclosed composition.  Their patent suggests it is a silicon filled polyester.  Parylene C (AKA chlorinated poly-dimethybenzene) has also become a coating for pet microchips, with no cancer studies available.

Bullchip 7:  90% of lost animals would not be recovered without ID.   Most lost pets can be recovered by their owners without the use of any form of ID and most lost pets are recovered.   Pet populations with up to 95% of pets implanted with microchips show that fewer than 10% of lost pets with microchips are ever returned to their owner by their chip.