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So how does pet Microchipping work?

Today, microchip technology is found everywhere, from computers and cell phones, to implants in wild animals for tracking of their movements, to pet microchips that provide identification information. Different types of microchips work in different ways, depending on their purpose.

The purpose of microchips used for pets is to provide a form of permanent identification. These microchip implants are called radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. They are tiny, about the size of a large grain of rice, and are passive. This means that they passively store a unique identification number and do not actively transmit any information. The microchip implanted in your pet has no battery and no internal power source, so it sits inertly in the pet until it is read by a microchip scanner.

How is the microchip put into my pet?

Before insertion, the sterile microchip is scanned in the package to confirm that the identification code of the transponder is the same as that shown on the package bar code label.

The needle containing the microchip is loaded into the application gun or syringe, and your pet is positioned for the injection. For pets, the standard site for microchip placement is in the subcutaneous tissue along the dorsal midline (the spine) between the pet’s shoulder blades. For correct placement, your pet should be either standing or lying on his stomach. Some of the loose skin between the shoulder blades is gently pulled up, and the needle is quickly inserted. The applicator trigger is squeezed, injecting the microchip into the tissue.

After insertion, the pet is scanned to ensure that the microchip is reading properly.

Is it painful to insert the microchip?

The procedure is fast, safe, and appears to be relatively pain-free. The microchips are usually inserted without incident, even in the tiniest puppies. The application needle is large, and some clients will choose to have the microchip implanted at the time of desexing, so that the pet can be anesthetized for the injection. However, this is not necessary, and the microchip can be implanted at any time that is convenient.

Microchipping laws for the sale of cats and dogs

In Queensland all cats and dogs between 8 and 12 weeks of age must be implanted with a microchip. Responsibility for microchipping is with the person selling or giving away the animal.

The sale, implanting and tracking of microchips is regulated in Queensland. Only an authorised person may microchip a cat or dog.

Is there anything else I have to do?

Once your pet is microchipped, we will register your pet along with your name and contact information with the appropriate agency. Failure to register your pet’s microchip identification will render the entire process useless, as the microchip number will not be associated with anyone.

If you move or change your contact information, be sure to update your pet’s microchip information. If your pet is lost and recovered, this information is necessary to reunite you with your pet.

How is the microchip detected?

The microchip can be ‘read’ with a microchip scanner, which detects the specific electronic code embedded in the microchip, and displays the identification number on the scanner’s screen.

Since the occasional microchip may migrate, or move out of position, the microchip reader will be passed over the entire body of the pet in order to ensure that the microchip is detected if present.

“Most, if not all, council impounds and animal shelters now have universal microchip readers, and routinely scan all stray and injured animals.”

Most, if not all, council impounds and animal shelters now have universal microchip readers, and routinely scan all stray and injured animals.

My pet always wears a collar with identification tags. Isn’t this enough?

Unfortunately, collars can break, fall off, or be removed. When identification tags are new, they are easy to read. However, as they get old and worn, it can become challenging to make out all the information that is on them.

Why should I microchip them?

Microchips cannot be misread, and the identification number is tamper-proof. The information about the pet and owner is usually readily retrievable from the database. It is also a legal requirement that they are microchipped. Registration fees with your local council are cheaper if your pet is microchipped and or desexed.

If at any point in time you have any concerns, questions or queries please call us on 4151 3550.

A jack russell terrier waiting to be microchipped at the vets.

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