View Full Version : microchips

30th April 2006, 09:03 PM
In my county, there are attempts to pass a law that will mandate that all dogs be microchipped.

I know that microchips are supposed to be safe, harmless to the dog. I'm also aware that some dog lovers disagree and believe there are health problems related to them but i'm not sure what they are. I would like to know what the complaints about microchips are. I do know that they may possibly migrate, requiring surgery, but i don't know what this means as far as where the chips migrate and why surgery would be needed.

Is there any reason (health or other) why people should not microchip their children? As far as i know, this is not something people do.

Harry & Heidi's mom
1st May 2006, 07:48 AM
harry is microchipped, he got it done the day after we brought him home.
he screamed the place down when it was put in, and was in a mood for the rest of the day, but it was worth it for the peace of mind.
i have his microchip scanned every time we are at the vets to make sure it hasn't moved or fell out.

the dog warden came to the house to do his microchip, and it was free!

Bruce H
1st May 2006, 12:08 PM
I have never heard of any health problems with microchips. I have heard of the possibility of them migrating in the past, but I believe the new chips are more resistant to migrating. And, as I understand it, if they do migrate it's only a problem in that if they are not where they are expected, they may not show up on a scan; I've never heard of requiring surgery to remove them. If anyone knows different than this, let me know. The only thing our vet says we have to do after microchipping is keep the puppies quiet for 24 hours to give the chip time to set in. We have never had a chip migrate that we know of; we now have a scanner that we bought just prior to our last 2 litters so we can check everyone before they leave.

Having said all that, I am a firm believer in microchips. All our dogs are chipped and all our puppies are chipped before they go to their forever homes. As far as chipping kids, I've heard of that suggested but it's usually greeted with incredible resistance, kind of a "Big Brother is watching" thing.

1st May 2006, 01:01 PM
Microchipping chidlren right now would raise privacy concerns. What information would be carried on the chip? In what databases would it be held? Who would have access to that information ? Why? What would they be used for? Microchips however have however been considered for many positive uses in humans such as to note severe drug allergies or health conditions -- similar to what is carried on those medi-bracelets.

All a microchip carries is a number of less than 20 digits that can be read and then linked to a database. They cannot carry much information themselves, not in the way they function. They have a teeny weeny memory and this is all they store.

There are no health issues with them -- they are the size of a grain of rice, encased in a special glass that is inert and doesn't react to body tissues. They have been used for decades now without health issues. A flea collar is far more of a health risk!!

They cannot migrate very far. They are only just under the skin so even if they do move around they are not going to do anything worrisome. They may move far enough not to be read but most trained scanners know to check around the sides of the neck and shoulders on the very small chance that the chip may have moved.

Chips are an excellent backup to a collar and tags, which may be lost or removed by thieves. A chip is always there with your contact info.

All Irish Kennel Club registered puppies MUST be microchipped in Ireland, as of Jan 2006. This has been welcomed by welfare agencies, breeders and pet owners.

1st May 2006, 06:47 PM
thanks for the info and perspective. I had noted on zack's health insurance policy it says there is a $50 deductible for microchip migration or $75 deductable depending on the policy coverage. Apparently there is sometimes a need of some kind of treatment or intervention when the chip migrates. Perhaps they sometimes migrate to a spot where they need to be removed and replaced. i imagine a small incision would be made to remove the chip and then it would be reinjected--just guessing.

i was looking on the web and found one possible alternative to microchipping for people who want one, DNA fingerprinting: http://www.blueprinthc.com/whatsnew.html

I've never heard of it but it sounds like the company currently does offer it. However it does sound like microchipping is a safe easy reliable way of identifying pets.

Here's the relevant excerpt:

Valid alternative to Microchipping

Microchip scanners are used for reunification at most kennels and shelters across the UK and although usually reliable for reunification, animal handlers often observe microchips having migrated towards the chest area, over the shoulder or down the back of the dog. Some dog owners have concerns over microchip migration and therefore don't have their dog permanently identified. DNA profiling based identification would be ideal for those dog owners who have concerns over microchip migration, allowing them to permanently identify their dog in case of loss or theft. Jackie Lines Kennel Manager, RSPCA, Block Fen said "I think that DNA profiling is a superb method for identifying stray and stolen animals. Firstly, I think it will be more accessible to dog owners than microchipping but also I think that it will be of particular interest to breeders who do not like microchipping and place a great deal of value on their dogs."

Microchip/Scanner incompatibility

Microchipping is a widely used method of animal identification and in most cases results in reunification, however there have been reports of microchips being missed by dog wardens due poor scanning technique (the entire dog should be scanned just in case the microchip has migrated!), and not all scanners are compatible with all microchips being sold. Carol Bolton of the NDWA commented "We have experienced microchip/scanner incompatibility. Dog wardens would bring dogs into the kennels, which they said were microchipped and we would in 50% of cases not be able to find the microchip. This changed when we changed the brand of scanner we used, however we will never know how many chips we are still missing." Mona Jorgensen, Assistant Manager of RSPCA Shelter in Potters Bar said "We use" brand x" microchips, however we have implanted microchips into animals and on occasion have had vets scan dogs with a different brand of scanner and not been able to find the microchip. When the dogs are brought back to us for scanning we are usually able to detect the microchip, so there must be some incompatibility somewhere". The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) are going to publish a report on the issue of microchip/scanner compatibility as a guide line to Vets across the UK, when this is published there should be additional clarity on this issue. DNA profiling would offer additional security where microchip scanner incompatibility results in a lack of positive identification so all permanently identified dogs can be reunited with their owners. Genetic Disease Testing

1st May 2006, 07:04 PM
about chipping humans, i imagine that for children, there would just be their parents' contact information on a missing children database, nothing else. However, children don't have nearly as great a frequency or risk of getting lost as pets do, so that must play some role in why it would not be done. The idea of using it instead of or in addition to medi bracelets seems very good. Particularly with dementia, where people might remove their bracelet and become lost, i would think microchipping could be very helpful.

once, a stray cat began coming to our backyard. My daughter loved for neighborhood cats to come and hang out, and always put some of our cat's food in the backyard in a bowl. So, this one cat started coming, and it made a daily habit of coming to our yard, and it would come at 5am or earlier when it was still dark outside and yowl for food, right under my bedroom window. :swear: it had a particularly harsh grating sound to its yowl. I could imagine our neighbors thinking it was our cat and planning to kill us all.

I called animal control and they said they would loan me a trap so that i could capture the cat and bring it to them. I was spared the fear that they would put the cat down because my daughter had previously volunteered there for school credit and we were told they are such a small animal shelter, they never need to put animals down, they don't get full or overcrowded. When i brought the cat to them, they scanned her neck right then and there and they did find a microchip, but there was some kind of problem with the contact information, i've forgotten now what it was. Anyway i never saw the cat again.