Microchipping- A Lifeline for Lost Pets

Recently a number of lost cats have been brought into our veterinary clinic by good Samaritans hoping to reunite them with their worried owners. Often we can help reunite owners with their lost pets though website, noticeboard and clinic face book posts but sometimes it is just not possible. However there is a way you can ensure that your pet, if lost, can be identified and returned.

Microchipping is the only permanent way to identify your pet. Should your pet ever escape, it can lose any collars or tags that you may put on, but microchips remain in your pet for life. Cats often lose collars and it’s these cats that pose a real problem in trying to find their owners.

What is a microchip, and how does it work?

A microchip is a small rice grain sized object that is placed underneath the skin. Using a microchip reader, any veterinary clinic is able to read a unique numberpet-microchip from the microchip in your pet.

There is a national registry which holds the microchip numbers with your contact details. By contacting the national registry, the clinic is able to use these details to reach you and reunite you with your pet. Simple and effective. Thus, it is important that you update your details with the registry whenever you change your phone numbers or address.

With a national registry, even if you’re pet goes on holidays with you, the microchip number can be read and traced to you anywhere throughout Australia.

What does microchipping involve?

A microchip can be implanted into your pet either while they are awake or under sedation. Many animals are microchipped while they are awake without problems. While it is a larger needle than a normal vaccination, it is generally not too painful for the pet.

An ideal time to have your new pet microchipped is during desexing surgery while your pet is under anaesthetic. The cost of microchipping is only around $50 and should be considered as essential for your pet

Where are microchips implanted? 

microchipIn dogs and cats, microchips are placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. However, since this area is quite mobile, the microchip can move a little from this position over time.

Can pets other than dogs and cats be microchipped?

Certainly. Many different animals are able to be microchipped, from rabbits to snakes and even birds can all be microchipped. Contact your veterinary clinic if you would like more information.

Dr Alison Banfield- Sanford Veterinary Clinic

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