“I did something I thought a responsible pet owner should – microchip your pet – and to think that it killed him … It just breaks your heart.” Scotty’s scar following surgery to remove tumor (Photo: Linda Hawkins 2010.)
‘I saw it growing every day, and I could see it taking his life’
By Chelsea Schilling
Do implanted microchips cause cancer in dogs and cats?
That’s the question owners are asking after highly aggressive tumors developed around the microchip implants of two dogs, killing one and leaving the other terminally ill.
The owners – and pathology and autopsy reports – suggest a link between the chips and formation of fast-growing cancers.
‘I could see it taking his life’
A 5-year-old bullmastiff named Seamus died last month after developing a hemangio-sarcoma – a malignant form of cancer that can kill even humans in three to six months, explains privacy expert, syndicated radio host and best-selling author Dr. Katherine Albrecht.
Albrecht, an outspoken opponent of implantable microchips, has been contacted by pet owners after their animals experienced what they believe to be side effects from the procedure.
According to a pathology report, Seamus’ tumor appeared between his shoulder blades last year, and by September a “large mass” had grown with the potential to spread to his lungs, liver and spleen.
Seamus underwent emergency surgery, and doctors extracted a 4-pound, 3-ounce tumor from the dog. They used four drains to remove fluid from the area in which the tumor had developed. The veterinarian informed the dog’s owner, Howard Gillis, that there had been two microchips embedded in Seamus – one presumably inserted by the dog’s breeder when Seamus was only 9 months old. The chips were both located in and around the tumor.
In just three months, the cancer returned. Seamus, a once energetic dog, struggled to walk.
Seamus “was 150 pounds of heart,” Howard Gillis, the dog’s owner, said in a recent interview. “He wanted to live.”
Gillis explained that he “got the microchip because I didn’t want him stolen. I thought I was doing right. There were never any warnings about what a microchip could do, but I saw it first-hand. That cancer was something I could see growing every day, and I could see it taking his life … It just ate him up.”
To end the suffering, Seamus was put to sleep in February.