twitterfacebook

Buckingham

01280 822001

Winslow

01296 715660

 Caring for Companion Animals

Identichipping

Microchip, Identichip and ID Chip are all the same thing. It is an implant placed under the skin, usually on the back of the neck between the shoulder blades. Vets are generally very keen on identichipping as a means of identification of pets. Collars can be wriggled out of and lost, and tattoos often fade with time.

It is a one off procedure and one identichip should last a lifetime. It is not yet a legal requirement to have your pet identichipped (except for applications for export to another country or for the pets passport scheme) but many owners chose to do so as it provides a permanent and unique way of easily identifying their pet. The same microchip procedure is used on all species, cats, dogs and horses, and it is recognised internationally.

Microchip and grain of riceThe chip is a small plastic pellet, about the size and shape of a grain of rice. Inside the pellet is a tiny electronic circuit with a copper coil wound around it. The electronic circuit contains a unique 15 digit number (for example 981000003429887).

We read the identichip using a handheld unit that looks like a television remote control, it can be seen in the photograph below. We sweep the reader over the animals back and the reader emits a small magnetic field which activates the chip, then the chip transmits its number as a radio signal. There is no energy source contained within the identichip. When the magnetic field from identichip reader passes over the chip it creates a very small electric current which provides just enough power to send a tiny radio signal with the identichip number back to the reader.

The identichip arrives at the vet practice in a sterile pack already loaded inside the bore of a hypodermic needle, along with half a dozen stickers with the unique barcode number of the identichip.

Microchip insertion and readerThe identichipping procedure is straight forward and well practiced at the veterinary surgery. We do it daily on a regular basis and are usually quite happy to implant one whenever you are visiting. Identichips are implanted by the vet or veterinary nurse. How quick and easy the procedure is, often surprises owners! Essentially the identichip pellet is injected under the skin at the scruff of the neck, and is similar to many other injections such as vaccinations, given at the vets.

It is not unusual to get a little hiss or yelp when implanting a chip as it can sting a bit, but no more so than any other vaccination or injection – and it is a one off procedure! Also itt is not unusual to get a small spot of blood after implanting an identichip. There is a tiny incision made in the skin by all needles when giving an injection. Applying gentle pressure to the area and leave the resulting scab to heal for a few days and they should be fine!

It is not unusual over time for the identichip to move about a bit under the animal’s skin. Every pet is uniquely different and in some have more room under the skin for the chip to migrate before settling down. This is not harmful to the animal and you may notice when we are scanning for microchips we will take large sweeping circles with the chip reader all the way down the back and both flanks.

The hard part is done, now what do you have to do?

Once we have implanted the chip a registration form is completed online, which registers the number on to a national database of identichip numbers. The number on the chip implanted into your pet has no connection to you unless your contact details are registered! Ideally we like to take a full name and address, at least two easily contactable phone numbers (home, work and mobile) and these days email addresses are also very useful.

If you move home and need to change your contact details there is a telephone number you can call and a website that allows you to change your details.

What if your pet gets lost?

So how does the system spring into action on the (hopefully) rare occasion our pet takes an adventure to explore the big wild world? At the vets when a ‘lost and found’ pet is delivered to our door we first of all give them a check over for any sign of injury, then scan them for an identichip before getting them settled in a kennel with a bite to eat and drink. If there is a identichip present first we check our own computer records, as often they are one of our patients! If we have the owner on record we contact them directly and arrange a suitable collection time.

If we do not have records of the chip number at the practice then we phone the database directly to report a missing animal. The information you logged on the database is private and protected by the data protection act. Veterinary practices and registered local authority animal shelters are given a password that allows the database to give us your contact details so we can contact you directly. Private individuals that have scanned the animals number but have no password can report to the database that the animal is found but do not have access to your details, so the database then contacts you and relays the information between you and the person who has found your pet.

It does not cost you to use the database if your pet is lost.

If your pet is lost and arrives at the vets and has no means of identification we will try our best, through local knowledge, to find their home. Unfortunately as a working practice we do not have facilities to keep ‘lost and founds’ for any length of time as we need the space for our poorly patients. So if no owner is found after 48hrs they will be sent to the local council authority animal shelter.

It costs £17.38 for an identichip with a reduced price if it is implanted while the pet is under an anaesthetic.

Winslow  (Registered Office)

 33 High Street

Winslow

Bucks

MK18 3HE

 

Tel:   (01296) 715660

Fax:  (01296) 712160

 

 

Buckingham

14 High Street

Buckingham

Bucks

MK18 1NT

 

Tel:  (01280) 822001

Fax: (01280) 816744

 

 

rcvs-logo