PET Microchipping in the comfort of your own home
* Compulsory dog microchipping is now in force in England *
What are Microchips?
Microchips are available in 3 sizes: 12mm x 2mm, 8mm x 1.4mm & 10mm x 1.4mm and are encased in biocompatible glass. It is recommended that the 8mm x 1.4mm (mini) microchip only be used in cats and breeds of dog not exceedingly approximately 15Kg adult bodyweight. For dogs exceeding this weight, the 12mm x 2mm(standard) microchip can be used. The new 10mm x 1.4mm chip is suitable for all dogs and cats regardless of size (as well as other small animals).
Each chip is pre-programmed with its own individual 15 digit number and is totally passive; it is not until the energy from the low frequency radio wave from the scanner is passed over the chip that it becomes active - the unique microchip number then appears on the scanner display.
Prior to Microchipping
Your pet should be in good health - if any signs of ill-health are present, this may mean that it isn't appropriate to chip at this time e.g. if the pet is currently suffering from a skin complaint.
Consider how your pet has reacted previously to similar procedures, e.g. vaccination injections; it is important to advise the implanter if the pet is likely to be scared/aggressive and if a muzzle should be used.
Your pet will be scanned to ensure that there is no microchip already present; this is essential as no animal should have more than 1 microchip and on occasion, owners have found that their pet is already chipped (to a previous owner) but they were not aware - in these circumstances, advice can be provided on how you can update the relevant microchip database.
The microchip is implanted mid-line inbetween the shoulder blades.
In some cases there may be a small amount of bleeding due to a capillary in the skin being caught by the needle; this is nothing to worry about - pressure will be applied with a cotton wool ball until bleeding ceases.
The implant site will be sensitive for a while and you must keep the animal as calm as possible, i.e. no rigorous exercise.
You MUST NOT try to feel for the microchip as this could cause it to move from the implant site and prevent the chip adhering to the surrounding tissue, as well as introducing infection. Grooming the animal, use of a harness or items of clothing should be avoided for a 12 hour period and the area avoided during handling for the next 24 hours.
If a lump or swelling appears at the site of the injection, veterinary attention should be sought.
The guidance above relates to the microchipping of dogs, cats and other small mammals, which is considered a non-veterinary procedure by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and is also in accordance with the Veterinary Surgeons Act (1966) and DEFRA guidelines which state that lay implanters may microchip these species provided they have received appropriate training recognised by the Secretary of State.