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Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52405
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Everything You Should Know About Microchipping

What Are Microchip IDs, And Why Does My Pet Need One?

At Edgewood Animal Hospital, we understand that the bond you and your beloved friend share is invaluable and irreplaceable. We also understand that pets can be curious and therefore run the risk of wandering too far from home, or just accidentally losing their way. This is why we are happy to offer microchip identification services.

Collar ID tags are a wonderful line of defense, but collar ID tags can also become physically separated from your pet. However, microchipping ensures that they can be properly and quickly identified by a veterinarian or animal shelter. We strongly believe in the value that microchips bring to the cause of lost pets. Therefore, we want to provide you with insight and education about microchipping pets that will help you make an informed decision as to whether or not a microchipping is right for your companion.

How Is A Microchip Implanted?

A microchip is implanted through a syringe that injects it underneath the skin. Although there is no universally agreed upon location, a microchip is usually implanted between the shoulder blades. At approximately 12mm long, it is about the same size as a grain of rice. Implanting a microchip only takes a few seconds, and it is meant to last for the entirety of your pet's lifetime.

Is The Microchipping Procedure Dangerous?

Microchipping is considered very safe. As with any medical procedure, there is always a risk of side effects. These include:

  • Potential migration of the chip into another location
  • Tumor development at the injection site (although this is extremely rare and no proven cases at this time)

It is important to note that side effects have occurred in a very small portion of pet, and are considered very rare compared to the tens of millions of pets who have received microchips. When it comes to microchips, the potential rewards far outweigh potential risks.

Will The Microchip Implant Hurt My Pet?

Microchipping hurts about as much as having blood drawn. The microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades.The needle is required for the injection causes a pinch during microchipping procedures. Because it is only a momentary injection, no local or general anesthetic is required. Because it is quick and fairly non-invasive, the cost of microchips is very reasonable.

Will A Microchip Tell Me My Pet's Location?

It is important to understand that a pet microchip is not a GPS device providing real time tracking capabilities. Rather, a microchip is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) device. Unlike a GPS device, a microchip doesn't require power, and it is activated by an animal shelter or veterinarian waving an RFID scanner across a pet's body where the microchip is embedded. The scanner activates an identification number, which is linked in a database to your ownership information.

Once the veterinarian or shelter get the chip's number, as well as the information about the company that made the chip, they'll contact that company to find the pet's owner.

This brings us to an incredibly important part of microchipping: Registration!

An RFID chip itself is useless if your registration isn't submitted and then kept current. Don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian any questions about the registration process, in order to ensure your beloved companioncan be accurately identified with his or her pet microchip.

Do All Shelters Scan Lost Pets For Microchips?

To our knowledge, just about every animal shelter and veterinarian in the United States has the RFID devices to detect a microchip. However, there are various microchip manufacturers, and because of this not all RFID scanners can detect every microchip. Therefore, shelters and veterinarians may keep several different scanners on-hand to detect different microchip brands. Since microchips can migrate, it is a good idea to ask your veterinarian during each checkup to scan the pet microchip to make sure it is still reading, and is also still located where it should be.

Why Does My Pet Need A Microchip When He or She Already Wears A Collar With Tags?

It is a great idea to invest in a collar ID tag for your pet. Collar ID tags are the first line of defense in locating and identifying a lost animal. For example, if a neighbor finds you lost pet, they will not likely have a microchip scanner and will simply rely on the collar ID tag. However, microchipping is the second and in some ways most important line of defense. This is because microchipping ensures that your pet's identification is never lost, stolen, removed or compromised.

Can Anyone With A Scanner Access My Contact Information?

A microchip cannot compromise your personal privacy. When the RFID scanner picks up the chip, the chip only provides an identification number that correlates to the chip's manufacturer. That number is called into the pet recovery service, and you will be contacted by that service using the contact information on file. This is why it is essential to make sure your registration information is accurate.

How Can I Set An Appointment To Have My Pet Microchipped?

If you are ready to schedule an appointment for microchipping services, please contact us today. Our staff would be happy to help you register your companion with the pet recovery service database. Schedule a microchipping appointment today!

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