View Full Version : Anyone had a microchip migrate?

Lucy's mum
18th March 2007, 10:28 PM
Henry was microchipped with his second vaccination - at 10 weeks. He is now 8.5 months. The other day I was stroking him and I noticed a little lump just below the top of his leg. I thought...tick...bite...then sudden inspiration - microchip! It is just the right size/shape for a microchip so maybe it has migrated from where it was put in - between his shoulder blades. I understood that modern chips do not migrate unless put in with faulty technique!!!!

So tomorrow we go to the vet to confirm that it is the chip I can feel. What worries me is that if he got lost and was scanned for a chip they might not find it if it is on his leg not his back. I intend to get a tag for him that says he is chipped so that should help. I understand that a wandering chip cannot harm a dog, thank goodness.

Has anyone else experienced this? I don't suppose we can do anything about it.

Joanne M
18th March 2007, 10:35 PM
Tucker is chipped too. My God. I never even thought to ask if they can move around! Please let us know what the vet says. Did you feel the chip between his shoulder blades before? I've never felt anything under Tucker's skin.

18th March 2007, 11:35 PM
The chip in my English Springer has migrated down to her lower chest on her left side.

18th March 2007, 11:44 PM
When Mary Alice was chipped, I was assured that if they don't find it between the shoulders, they check other areas around the chest.

Please post what you find out...seems like an odd place for it. ;D

19th March 2007, 12:03 AM
They can migrate but don't very often. It wouldn't be faulty technique; it just happens in some dogs/cats. If you feel any lump it is important to have it checked by a vet anyway -- dogs also get harmless cysts and fatty deposits amongst other things but you always want to be sure a lump is benign.

Anyone using a scanner properly runs it all over the dog to read for a chip. It should pick up anything on the upper chest or top of leg if it is run over the upper neck area and sides, which would be the minimum I'd expect someone to do. I always have my vets check strays for chips and they go from top to tail and the sides, very slowly.

The problem is a lot of pounds, vet techs etc are not very experienced in using scanners and don;t take enough time to check carefully. You actually are supposed to move the scanner fairly slowly -- it is throwing off a very weak radio signal that the chip 'answers' but some folks seem to think the chip and scanner are like a Geiger counter measuring a uranium deposit! :shock:

Just FYI the chip is about the size of a grain of rice. I have tags on all my dogs that note they are chipped, neutered, and a reward is offered if they are found.

Lucy's mum
19th March 2007, 10:34 AM
Well, we took Henry to the vet and got all our questions answered.

He scanned him and in seconds the scanner bleeped and the microchip was indeed just below the top of his leg. So the little lump WAS the microchip.

Also we were reassured that anyone scanning him would find the microchip very quickly as it is so superficial. Just to aid this we will put "I've been chipped" on his tag. The vet has made a note of where its new position is.

And we were told that he will come to no harm from this wandering chip...in fact it is highly unlikely to move any further down the leg than it is now.

As you say Karlin, just one of those things that happens , we don't now worry that it was put in wrong etc. But glad we went to the vet for reassurance.

Joanne...we never felt the chip before this last week - never even thought to check as I assumed it would be deep in. I think it is the fact that it is on his leg, where there is not much tissue over it, that enabled me to feel it.

19th March 2007, 10:59 AM
we had a puppies chip migrate to its chest between the front legs. we chipped it again & had both chips registered to the same dog. so if one was missed they'd find the other

Bruce H
19th March 2007, 11:14 AM
Interesting topic, as we are just looking into this as one possibility. We were at a friends house last weekend doing some final paperwork on a puppy they got from us out of Pixxie's latest litter this year. We brought our scanner with just to confirm the chip number and couldn't find it. We went pretty much all over that puppy and got nothing. We tried the scanner on another of her Cavaliers and it registered OK, so it wasn't the scanner. And the chip was there the week before the puppy went home.

So, we have two possibilities that we can think of: either the chip migrated very late (we don't think this is very likely) or the chip quit working. We have called the vet and they want us to bring the puppy in. If they can't find it, they will assume it's a defective chip and insert another one.

There was one other time we got a defective chip. It checked out fine before it was inserted, but it didn't register immediately after it was inserted and the vet had to insert a second chip. So for those of you with chips, it's probably a good idea to have your vet scan your dog every time you go in to be sure the chip is still working.

19th March 2007, 11:58 AM
Good idea, Bruce, to have vets check for the chip regularly so you know it is functioning.

They are not inserted very deep at all -- just into the loose skin at the top of the neck where they sit in the layer above the muscle but below the skin. It would actually be dangerous to try and insert the chip deeply into that area which is why chipping needs to be done by someone certified to do so. It isn't hard to chip but it needs to be done correctly and by someone who knows what they are doing.

To understand where the chip goes, think about the last turkey or chicken you roasted. You might have skinned it by slipping your fingers right under the skin to pull off the muscle. Or you might (if you were me!) have cut a slit in the skin to insert garlic cloves so they sit on the muscle but under the skin -- you can put them right into a little pocket by pushing them in (a delicious way to roast a chicken BTW! :) ). That is where a microchip goes, that space under the skin and over the muscle. But you'll also have noticed you can push your finger in under the skin pretty easily. A chip -- depending on the angle, the way the dog moves, and the nature of its fatty tissue -- can start to move around in this area where the skin is fairly loose. Doesn't often happen, or move very far, but it can. The skin is tighter though on the legs and further down the chest so it is unlikely to move very far.

I have tags stating my dogs are chipped less to notify some finder to scan for them -- because the tag that says they are chipped also has my name, address and phone anyway, as is required by Irish law and by most country's laws -- but to fend off dog thieves. Most thieves are looking for intact dogs that can be used for breeding and I hope it will also deter anyone who might ever find one of my dogs and think they'll keep them for breeding, too (almost everyone I meet when I walk the dogs asks if I breed them and if I say no, asks why not! :(). That's also why I state 'reward if found' clearly -- because once they are disappointed that they cannot breed, I hope the reward will motivate them to call and return the dog. Don't ever think a neutered male will deter thieves because obviously he is neutered -- I get dogs into rescue now and then where people say of a MALE, "I don't know" when I ask if he is neutered! And even the pound will sex some dogs incorrectly on first glance. So a tag might help those too unschooled to recognise a testicle-less dog. :)

BTW the Guardian had a big piece on dog theft in Britain on Friday or Sat. I will find the piece and post it. It is becoming a major crime in the UK and in Ireland so PLEASE always watch your dogs, never leave them alone while you pop in the store, or out in the garden without supervision. According to the article small dogs are stolen to order for people who want to buy them, are stolen to use as bait for dog fights
:shock: and to be held for ransom (£2000 recently for one woman's dog).

Chipping is very important and I have a new policy of chipping ALL my rescues from now on -- but prevention, and good clear dog tags, are IMHO far more important.

19th March 2007, 12:55 PM
Don't ever think a neutered male will deter thieves because obviously he is neutered -- I get dogs into rescue now and then where people say of a MALE, "I don't know" when I ask if he is neutered! And even the pound will sex some dogs incorrectly on first glance. So a tag might help those too unschooled to recognise a testicle-less dog. :).

One of my dogs came from a breeder ( he'd lived with them from birth)& we were told he was neutered . He had the fluffy neutered type coat so I didnt question it . Turned out he was entire & also had a tumour :roll:

19th March 2007, 02:12 PM
Interesting discussion. We've felt all over Annie and have never been able to feel the chip.

19th March 2007, 03:07 PM
It happened only the once....when the chip was just put under the skin in one of those routine vets visits.

Since then I have now waited until they have gone in for their spay op and have had it put into the muscle with a stitch on top to prevent any possible migration. (Shelties only)

My cavaliers are not chipped.


19th March 2007, 03:12 PM
Since then I have now waited until they have gone in for their spay op and have had it put into the muscle with a stitch on top to prevent any possible migration

That's interesting, I've never heard of doing that. I always do chipping during a spay/neuter anyway if at all possible.

Cathy T
19th March 2007, 03:42 PM
Interesting topic. Glad you found out that it was just the chip migrating. Bruce - excellent suggestion re scanning!! I am going to have my vet do that from now on when we go in for anything. Never thought about a defective chip!! Our tags do state that our dogs are chipped.