Vet Darren Storey brings you the latest news from Northlands Veterinary Hospital.
Microchips are not just exclusive to things like laptops and phones; animals can have them implanted also.
In fact this little piece of technology could be the only thing that may reunite you with your pet.
What is a pet microchip and how does it work?
It is a small capsule, roughly the size of a rice grain, which is implanted under the skin of your pet.
We can microchip nearly every animal from dogs to birds.
I have never done a fish though; but technically it would be possible.
It doesn’t need a power source so there is no need to replace it once implanted.
It is made of specific materials to prevent the body reacting against it and rejecting it; and also to try to prevent any movement once implanted. However, the latter can still occur.
The microchip has a unique number and, once registered, will carry all the information needed to ensure your pet can be reunited with you.
Unfortunately, it does not have any GPS feature but watch this space as I think it will become possible in the not so distant future.
The chip will hold all your information, like name, address, contact number, and also information about your pet.
If your dog goes missing and is then found by someone else a professional, like a vet or dog warden, with an appropriate scanner will be able to retrieve the microchip number and then find the information and give you a call.
These chips can only be read by a scanner available to the appropriate people so members of the general public cannot get hold of one.
Here at Northlands we use microchips that are then registered with Petlog.
This is the largest pet database in the country and using that unique number they can find your pet very quickly.
Is it compulsory?
Well, at present the answer is no.
However, as of April 6, 2016, all dogs MUST be microchipped.
There is nothing as yet set by the government regarding other species.
From that date you will need to:
O Have your dog microchipped and registered on one of the authorised commercial databases available
O Register the details of any new owner before you sell or give the dog away
O Keep your contact details up-to-date on the microchip databases
Homeward Bound – a true story?
Bear with me on this one but to show you microchips do work...
I am sure many of you reading this have seen the film Homeward Bound, but if not it is basically about a trio of animals (two dogs and one cat) trying to find their way back home to their human family.
I had a young cat presented to me several months ago and when we scanned her microchip we found she was registered near Bristol, nearly 150 miles away!
We called the owner and as you would expect she was very shocked.
We then organised for her to be reunited with her cat. If only the cat could have told us the story.
Are you interested?
In June we have our own Microchip Month where we will be offering microchips to all our patients for just £12; so come down and get your pet chipped.
Whether you are a client of Northlands or not we will happily give you more advice if you need it.
Please call 01536 485543 and ask to speak to a clinical member of staff.