Check the Chip!!

by
Scott Sandeman, D.V.M.
 
A lost pet is devastating for all involved.  Microchipping your pet-the relatively inexpensive and benign insertion of a rice grain sized chip just below the skin-does some amazing things to make sure a lost pet doesn’t stay lost.  For example, cats that are microchipped are 20 times more likely to be returned to their owners while dogs are 2 ½ times more likely to make it home.  To make sure your pet stays a part of your family, follow these steps for proper identification:
1.)  Get them microchipped now!  Seems simple but many pet owners neglect to have this life-saving procedure done.  Your veterinarian can explain the details but this simple procedure can be done during almost any well patient examination- the younger the better.
2.)Register the microchip with the manufacturer.  Information and address about the owner must be registered for the chip to do its job.  While there is no central registration, your veterinarian can tell you the manufacturer and place to register your pet’s microchip.  Just as important, update the information regularly to reflect changes in address or phone numbers.
3.)What are the risks?  No system is fool proof and there have been instances of chips moving from the spot they are intended to be implanted-just below the skin above the shoulder blades in the middle of the back.  Migration of the chips is rare however, and even more uncommon is an infection or other issues associated with the chip implantation.  It may be a good idea to have your veterinarian scan for the chip every year and  reassure you that the chip is where its supposed to be.
National pet “Check the Chip” is August 15- a great time to get your pet microchipped or if already chipped, that the information for a safe return is up-to-date.  For more information about microchipping, contact your veterinarian! 
 

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