Several newly released studies are causing concern for pet owners across Lubbock. The studies link the presence of microchip locater implants in animals to malignant cancerous tumors.
These studies were conducted on mice in France and Germany from 1997 to 2006. The French study detected tumors in 4% of just over 1,200 micro-chipped mice, and the German study found cancers in 1% of over 4,200 mice.
The FDA stands behind their ruling saying microchips are safe, and the Lubbock veterinarian we talked to agrees. Dr. Carl Clary of Acres North Animal Veterinary Hospital says there's no risk, and he's done the research to prove it.
"I have researched one of the databases with a Los Angeles oncologist. They've done 16,000 patients in their database and never had a single one," Clary said.
In the 17 years, his practice, Clary has been using animal tracking microchip implants, and he's never seen a cancerous case.
"All my pets are microchiped," Clary said.
But several recently released studies show an instance of cancer around the injection site in some mice.
"All the stuff that's coming out right now is something that is totally new to us. Never heard it. Never seen it before," Clary added.
In fact, one study released in 1998, of 177 mice studied, 17 got cancer.
"The people who put out that information are against all microchips," Clary said.
There's discussion out there to use microchips to track Alzheimer's patients and even those with diabetes for safety.
"I'm not saying it can't happen. Anytime you put something foreign in your body there's a risk... You put a pacemaker in, there's a risk,"Clary said.
By city ordinance, any animal that leaves Lubbock Animal Services, whether it's adopted or returned, must have a microchip tracking device, and the director of animal services, Kevin Overstreet, says that he's aware of these newly released studies, but for them it's business as usual until they get further evidence to prove that cancer is caused by these microchips.