May is National “Chip Your Pet” month. What kind of chip, you may ask? Cow chip? Potato chip? Does one celebrate this auspicious occasion by tossing Doritos at your dog? Well, no.
“Chip Your Pet” refers to microchips. Microchips are small (a little bigger than a grain of white rice) devices that are implanted under the skin of an animal, generally between the shoulder blades. From the website “How Things Work”, a microchip “incorporates several components to help it do its job. First, the glass material that encapsulates the device is biocompatible. That means it’s not toxic and doesn’t hurt the animal’s body, so your pet won’t experience an allergic reaction to the device after implantation. Some versions of the microchip also include a cap made of polypropylene polymer to keep the chip from moving around once it’s inside the animal. The polymer works by encouraging connective tissue to form around the capsule to hold it in place [source: Identipet]. Inside the capsule, you’ll find the actual silicon microchip that holds the important information, as well as a tuning capacitor and an antenna coil. The capacitor receives power and sends it to the microchip. The microchip’s information can then be picked up through the antenna, which is a copper coil.”
Microchips use “passive RFID” — RadioFrequency IDentification. The chip doesn’t actively transmit information, but the number/letter combination assigned to it is “energized” when a scanner is passed over it. The microchip then sends a radio signal with the identification number to the scanner. This number can then be used to search a database of microchip registrations and, hopefully, reunite the pet with the owner.
At Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic, we use the 24PetWatch Minichip, which is 1/3 the size of regular microchips (so smaller than a grain of rice!) This allows us to implant the chip using a much smaller needle. While microchipping in general isn’t very painful, a smaller needle means less discomfort, especially in small dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens.
The cost for a lifetime of protection is nominal (call us for the price! 608-819-6750) and we submit your registration on-line for you! There are no additional charges, unless you change your address. If your pet does not have this form of permanent ID, please schedule to have a microchip inserted ASAP!