What is a microchip?
A microchip is a tiny transponder, about the size of a grain of rice that is encoded with a unique identification number. It is used for permanent identification in pets and can help reunite you with your lost pet.
How do they place a microchip for my pet and is it painful? Before insertion, the sterile microchip is scanned in the package to confirm that the identification code of the transponder is the same as that shown on the package bar code label. The needle containing the microchip is loaded into the application syringe, and the pet is positioned for the injection. For dogs and cats, the standard site for microchip placement is in the subcutaneous tissue along the dorsal midline (the spine) between the pet’s shoulder blades. It won’t hurt any more than a routine vaccine, even in the tiniest of kitten and puppies. After insertion, the pet is scanned to ensure that the chip is reading properly. The procedure is fast and safe.
Is there anything else I have to do? Once your pet is microchipped, you must register him or her with the appropriate agency. Your veterinarian will provide you with the relevant documents and contact information and will tell you if any fees are required. Failure to register your pet’s microchip identification will render the entire process useless. If you move or change your contact information, be sure to update your pet’s microchip information. If your pet is lost and recovered, this information is necessary to reunite you with your pet.
How is the microchip detected? The microchip can be ‘read’ with a microchip scanner, which detects the specific electronic code embedded in the chip, and displays the identification number on the scanner’s screen. Most, if not all, humane societies and animal shelters now have universal microchip readers, and routinely scan all stray and injured animals. Steps are being taken to standardize the readers and develop databases that can be readily accessed.
My dog always wears a collar with identification tags. Isn’t this enough? Unfortunately, collars can break, fall off or be removed. When identification tags are new, they are easy to read. However, as they get old and worn, it can become challenging to make out all the information that is on them.
Seiler Animal Hospital offers the Home Again Microchip. Please call today to schedule your appointment. We even take care of the registration for you!
Courtesy of Douglas A. Thieme, DVM
Seiler Animal Hospital 2650 NE 57th Street Fort Lauderdale, Florida