Knowing the possible dog microchipping complications helps you as a pet owner make informed decisions. Issues like chip migration, pain and swelling, and allergic reactions can occur after a microchipping. Find out more about the possible side effects of dog microchip complications below.


Gifting your pet a microchip can have complications when the implanted chip migrates from its original position. Microchip migration is a rare occurrence. Dog owners should still be aware of this potential issue.

Tips on Preventing Microchip Migration

  • Select an experienced professional
  • Maintain regular check-ups
  • Choose high-quality microchips


Microchip dog side effects include infection if not done correctly. For example, if implantation sites are unclean. Infections can occur if needles aren’t clean before insertion of the microchip.

How To Minimize the Risk of Infection

  • Ensure that your veterinarian uses sterile equipment. They must also follow proper hygiene protocols during the procedure.
  • Closely watch your dog for any signs of discomfort following microchip placement.

Allergic Reactions

Although rare, some dogs may experience allergic reactions to the microchip implant. These reactions can be caused by a sensitivity to the materials used in the chip. They may also have an adverse reaction to the procedure itself. Itching, inflammation, and puffiness at the implantation site may be signs of an allergic reaction.

Treatment Options for Allergic Reactions

If your dog experiences an allergic reaction after microchipping, consult your vet.  Your vet will check your pet’s state and decide if any treatment is needed. Treatments include:

  • Medicine such as antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Topical creams for itch relief

Pain and Discomfort

dog microchip complications
If you’re thinking of microchipping your pooch, you might be wondering does microchipping hurt dogs. Pain is not one of the more common dog microchip side effects. However, it can still cause some pain and discomfort for your dog. This shouldn’t last long.

There are several ways you can help minimize any pain or discomfort your dog experiences during and after microchipping:

  • Choose an experienced professional: Make sure that whoever performs the procedure has ample experience with microchipping dogs. This will ensure that they use proper techniques, reducing any unnecessary pain.
  • Distract your dog by offering treats or toys. They’ll feel calm and focus on something other than what’s happening.

Make sure to give them lots of affection after their vet visit for positive reinforcement.

Swelling and Inflammation

One of the potential complications that may arise after microchipping your dog is swelling and inflammation at the injection site. This can be caused by a reaction to the implant or improper insertion technique. While this issue usually resolves on its own within a few days, it’s essential to monitor your pet closely for any signs of discomfort or infection.

Help heal swelling by pressing a cool or warm compress on the swollen site. Your vet might also recommend anti-inflammatories. They’ll prescribe pet-safe medication as needed.

Bleeding and Hematoma Formation

While microchipping is generally a safe procedure, complications such as bleeding and hematoma formation can occur. These issues may arise due to improper needle insertion or the dog’s movement during the process. Pet owners must be aware of these potential risks. Knowing about them will help prevent them from becoming serious health issues.

Causes of Bleeding and Hematoma Formation

  • If the veterinarian or technician does not insert the needle correctly, it could puncture a blood vessel.
  • Dog Movement: Sudden movements by your dog might lead to incorrect placement. This can increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Blood Clotting Disorders: Dogs with underlying blood clotting disorders are more prone to experience excessive bleeding after any invasive procedure, including microchipping.

Tumor Formation

Implanting a dog with a microchip poses a very small risk of a tumor developing. This is very rare and you usually don’t have anything to worry about. If your dog has a lump where the chip is following treatment, get a checkup with your vet.

Microchip Failure

While microchipping is a reliable method for identifying pets, there are instances where the technology can fail. Microchip failure can lead to complications. For example, the inability to identify lost pets or inaccurate information retrieval.

Causes of Microchip Failure

  • Misplacement: Improper implantation may cause it to migrate from its original location. This makes it difficult for scanners to detect.
  • Faulty Chip or Scanner: A malfunctioning chip or scanner could result in failed readings or false information being displayed.

Dog Microchip Complications: Nerve Damage

Microchipping is a common procedure that involves implanting a small chip under a dog’s skin to help identify them if they get lost. While it is generally considered safe and effective, there are potential complications that can occur, including nerve damage.

Symptoms of Nerve Damage

  • Limping or difficulty moving
  • Loss of sensation in certain areas
  • Pain when touched near the injection site
  • Muscle weakness or atrophy over time

Behavior Changes

Behavior Changes
Some pet owners have reported behavior changes in their dogs after the procedure. However, they are generally infrequent. You should still check in with veterinary services if you notice behavioral changes in your dog.

Tips for Addressing Behavioral Issues After Microchipping

  • If you notice sudden changes in your dog’s behavior post-microchipping, consult your veterinarian immediately.
  • Offer treats and praise during appointments to build a positive relationship between you, your dog, and the vet – this can help reduce stress in future visits.

The Risks of MRI Interference

If your pet has been microchipped, you should inform your vet before undergoing an MRI scan. The strong magnetic fields generated by an MRI machine can damage or dislodge the microchip from its original position under your dog’s skin. This could result in inaccurate readings during future scans. It might also make it difficult for animal shelters to identify your pet if they get lost.

False Sense of Security

Microchipping your pet is a great way to ensure their safe return if they get lost. Dog microchip complications are not too common. It is still important to understand that having your dog microchipped doesn’t guarantee safety. There are several complications associated with the procedure that can lead to adverse reactions or even render the chip ineffective.

If you’re considering having your pet microchipped, always get advice from your Main Line Vet & Animal Hospital of confidence.

Dr. Erin Downes VMD

Dr. Erin Downes graduated valedictorian from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. She and her husband, Dr. Jay Rowan are the owners of Paoli Vetcare | Main Line Vet & Animal Hospital.