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Reuniting Pets and their People…Why Microchips are Important

October 1, 2014

Brought to you by Peterborough West Animal Hospital:

For the months of October and November at Peterborough West Animal Hospital, microchips are on special – 40$ including implantation.  Give us a call to set up a time to have your pet microchipped while this amazing special lasts.

Reuniting Pets and their People…Why Microchips are Important

Positive identification is the only way to ensure that you are reunited with your pet if it becomes lost or stolen.  A secure collar with tags indicating the home address and phone numbers is a great start.  The problem is that collars come off.  A thief would simply remove one, and cat collars are designed to “break-away” in case the collar gets hung on a fence or tree limb.  Fortunately, there has been technology developed that addresses this concern.  A tiny chip contained in surgical grade glass can be implanted beneath the skin and scanned at any time to provide a unique identification number.  Animal Hospitals (just like Peterborough West Animal Hospital), shelters, and animal control departments have the hand held scanners to check lost pets for a chip.

At Peterborough West Animal hospital we recently heard a story in the news about a family who had lost their dog.  They did everything to find him — putting up posters, checking shelters — nothing.  Then, after two years, they got a phone call – their dog was found!  The person who found the dog took him to be scanned for a microchip and it showed who his family was and they were reunited.

A cat named Clyde was reunited with his owner after a mysterious three-year odyssey in which the long-haired Himalayan strayed 2,400 miles into the Australian outback.  A nurse found Clyde wandering at a hospital and cared for him for four months before taking him to a local vet.  The vet traced Clyde’s owner from his identification microchip and was able to reunite Clyde with his family.
In some countries such as Ireland microchipping has become mandatory.  It helps not only the reuniting of pets and their people, but it also helps identify those people who feel it is OK to abandon or abuse their pets.

The microchip is not powered and never wears out.  It is about the size of a large grain of rice and contains electronics that contain a unique identification code.  No personal information is held on the chip, and they cannot be reprogrammed.  The code on the chip is registered with the manufacturer’s recovery database along with the pet owner’s emergency contact information.  They cannot be located on a GPS or other tracking device.  The scanner activates the chip when it is held in close proximity to the pet.  There is no problem with taking a microchipped pet on an airplane, and some countries even require a microchip as part of the disease quarantine process.

Implanting the chip can be performed without anesthesia .  The procedure is relatively painless.  A modified syringe and large bore needle are used to place the glass tube beneath the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. Scar tissue forms around small barbs on the microchip to keep it from migrating out of place.  Many pet owners at Peterborough West Animal Hospital will opt to have this procedure done at the time of spaying and neutering .

Microchipping is the most effective method of positively identifying your pet.  Each year, thousands of dogs and cats are reunited with their owners thanks to this technology.  Some pet insurance companies will now cover the cost of microchipping.

Check out this incredible story of how one Canadian family became whole again!

At Peterborough West Animal Hospital, we are

  “Pawsitively devoted to your best friend…”

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