Make me feel better about microchipping.....
Some (but not all) excerpts from: AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (AVMA) [emphases added]
Q: What is a microchip?
A: A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip itself does not have a battery—it is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, and the radiowaves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on the screen.
Q: How is a microchip implanted into an animal? Is it painful? Does it require surgery or anesthesia?
A: It is injected under the skin using a hypodermic needle. It is no more painful than a typical injection, although the needle is slightly larger than those used for injection. [Not much worse than when you mother pinched you in church for misbehaving. Although some pets, as we all know, have a little more "Drama Queen" in them than others.]
Q: What kind of information is contained in the microchip? Is there a tracking device in it? Will it store my pet's medical information?
A: The microchips presently used in pets only contain identification numbers. No, the microchip cannot track your animal if it gets lost; it is NOT a GPS. Although the present technology microchip itself does not contain your pet's medical information, some microchip registration databases will allow you to store that information in the database for quick reference. There are, however, "bio-thermal" microchips which measure temperature, etc. We do not implant these.
Q: What do they mean by "microchip frequency?"
A: The frequency of a microchip actually refers to the frequency of the radiowave given off by the scanner that activates and reads the microchip. Examples of microchip frequencies used in the U.S. include 125 kiloHertz (kHz), 128 kHz, and 134.2 kHz.
Q: I've heard about something called "ISO standard." What does that mean?
A: The International Standards Organization, or ISO, has approved and recommended a global standard for microchips. The global standard is intended to create an identification system that is consistent worldwide. For example, if a dog was implanted with an ISO standard microchip in the U.S. travels to Europe with its owners and becomes lost, the ISO standard scanners in Europe would be able to read the dog's microchip. If the dog was implanted with a non-ISO microchip and the ISO scanner was not forward- and backward-reading (universal), the dog's microchip might not be detected or be read by the scanner.
The ISO standard frequency is 134.2 kHz. [Mobile Pet Microchipping uses the ISO standard frequency which allows you to take your pet overseas. We will also obtain a scanner for you if you are traveling to a country that requires you to bring your own scanner/reader; however, we need a LOT of advance notice and a deposit of $320.00. The scanner/readers are available for rental at a cost of $10.00 per day. If the scanner is returned in its original condition, the deposit is refundable LESS the daily rental fee of $10.00/daily. If the scanner is damaged or lost by renter, the deposit is non-refundable and no rental fees are assessed.]
- According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information [2008 Animal Quarantine]: Some countries, such as Japan, require ISO compliant [International Standards Organization] microchips on dogs and cats being brought into the country, or for the person bringing the pet into the country to also bring a microchip reader that can read the non-ISO-compliant microchip." World Small Animal Veterinary Association states: "Microchips are not in universal use, but there are legal requirements in some jurisdictions, such as the state of New South Wales, Australia.
Q: How does a microchip help reunite a lost animal with its owner?
A: When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things they do is scan the animal for a microchip. If they find a microchip, and if the microchip registry has accurate information, they can quickly find the animal's owner.
Q: Will a microchip really make it more likely for me to get my pet back if it is lost?
A: Definitely! A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time. (Lord et al, JAVMA, July 15, 2009) For microchipped animals that weren't returned to their owners, most of the time it was due to incorrect owner information (or no owner information) in the microchip registry database.
Q: Does a microchip replace identification tags and rabies tags?
A: Absolutely not. Microchips are great for permanent identification that is tamper-proof, but nothing replaces a collar with up-to-date identification tags...except another collar and tag and so on. The microchip databases are online or telephone-accessed databases, and are available 24/7/365. Mobile Pet Microchipping includes a FurCode tag with every full service visit. If you want to know more about FurCode tags, please visit https://www.furcode.com/learn-more/.
Q: I just adopted a pet from the animal shelter. Is it microchipped? How can I find out?
A: If the shelter scanned the animal, they should be able to tell you if it is microchipped. Some shelters implant microchips into every animal they adopt out, so check with the shelter and find out your new pet's microchip number so you can get it registered in your name. [Mobile Pet Microchipping will register any previously chipped pet (regardless of chip manufacturer) with The American Kennel Club, for a one-time fee with free lifetime updates and you will receive an AKC tag in 3-4 weeks after registration. OFTEN pets have NOT been registered by the shelter. You will need to call the recovery program and ask them. If the pet has NOT been registered by the shelter it will cost you more to register the pet after you take it home from the shelter.
Q: Why should I have my animals microchipped?
A: The best reason to have your animals microchipped is the improved chance that you'll get your animal back if it becomes lost or stolen.
Q: Do the benefits of microchipping outweigh the risks? I know that you said I have a better chance of being reunited with my lost or stolen pet if it is microchipped, but I'm worried there is still a chance that the veterinary clinic or shelter won't be able to read the chip or my pet will have a reaction.
A: The benefits of microchipping animals definitely outweigh the risks. Certainly the fee is less than the cost of trying to locate a lost pet. The combined cost of printing, hanging flyers, , placing ads, paying rewards, calling shelters, and taking time off of work all add up. Not to mention the anxiety, worry, or worse... being too late to save your pet. Once injected under the skin of your pet, the chip, encased by a thin layer of protein and aided by an inert material (Paralyene C, which is also used in human heart-transplant patients) already covering the chip, secures it in place. The chip covering is biocompatible. There is virtually no chance of the body developing an allergy or trying to reject the microchip after being properly injected.
Our current campaign is to make veterinarians and other animal rescue groups/organizations understand that it is ESSENTIAL to use UP-TO-DATE scanners/readers and to train employees HOW to effectively scan for a microchip.
Q: What is the youngest age a pet can be chipped?
A: Mobile Pet Microchipping won't microchip puppies and kittens under six (6) weeks old. For tiny animals, having reached that age, we recommend you wait until they are at LEAST 12 weeks of age. Every puppy, dog, kitten, or cat is evaluated as to condition, health, weight and size before it is microchipped.
Q: When can I apply a topical flea treatment? What about bathing?
A. A topical flea treatment should NOT be applied to the pet ONE WEEK BEFORE or ONE WEEK AFTER microchipping. You may bathe your pet 24 hours after chipping. If you are a "vigorous" bather, wait a couple of days.
Q: My pets never leave my yard. Why should they be chipped?
It only takes one time for SOMEONE....ANYONE to leave a door or gate open. And if you have a pet that has not been spayed nor neutered you are just asking for trouble. Those pets are just out for lust and their brains are hard-wired for procreation. Here's another scenario: if you keep your pet tethered in the front yard, it just takes one thief with one knife to cut the tether on your pet's collar: Goodbye Fido. Pet theft is a daily occurrence. Most shelters destroy the majority of pets they impound. Destroyed because they are not identified.
Q: Does my pet have to be sedated for the injection? Does it hurt?
A: No sedation is required. Microchipping is just like any other injection or vaccination. There is minimal discomfort with the procedure. Like an "owie"; that's it. SOME (not all) horses, may require sedation or a lidocaine local.
Regarding FERRETS: European Union As of July 2004, dogs, cats, and ferrets can travel freely within the European Union under the Pet passport scheme. To cross a border within the EU, ferrets require at minimum an EU PETS passport and an identification microchip (though some countries will accept a tattoo instead). Vaccinations are required; most countries require a rabies vaccine, and some require a distemper vaccine and treatment for ticks and fleas 24 to 48 hours before entry. Ferrets occasionally need to be quarantined before entering the country. PETS travel information is available from any EU veterinarian or on government websites.
United Kingdom The UK accepts ferrets under the EU's PETS travel scheme. Ferrets must be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies, and documented. They must be treated for ticks and tapeworms 24 to 48 hours before entry. They must also arrive via an authorized route. Ferrets arriving from outside the EU may be subject to a six-month quarantine.
El Paso, Texas requires ferrets to be microchipped.