Do You Want Chips With That?

Andrew Robinson of Millcroft Veterinary Group What better way to enjoy those warm Autumn evenings is a portion of fish and chips. One of the nicer aspects of the job […]

Andrew Robinson of Millcroft Veterinary Group

What better way to enjoy those warm Autumn evenings is a portion of fish and chips.

One of the nicer aspects of the job is being able to reunite lost pets with their distraught owners. This happened to me last Sunday when I was on call. A couple on holiday accidentally knocked over a little Jack Russell dog and rushed it into the practice. Having checked him over the next thing I did was to scan him for a microchip. We were all relieved when the scanner went beep and a number flashed up. A quick phone call and I was given the owners details and a phone number. They were overjoyed when I spoke to them and told them that barring a broken leg, their much loved pet was safe in the surgery. The family came straight in to visit their pet and after a few painkillers and an operation to repair the leg they all went home. Over the last few years all horses in this country have to have a passport to identify them and the only way to obtain one is after a veterinary surgeon has implanted a microchip into their necks before they reach 6 months of age.

The law is soon to change for dogs as well with all dogs needing to be microchipped.

A microchip is a small ceramic object looking like and about the same size as a small grain of rice. It contains a unique barcode number and is implanted using a very sharp needle into the scruff of your dogs’ neck (about where the annual booster vaccination goes). I put one in my dog when he was a puppy and 15 years later it was still working. Why not ask your vet to scan them when you are in for the annual boosters and you will have peace of mind to know that they still work should they ever be called upon. Many agencies such as dog wardens carry scanners so they can quickly trace an owner of a lost dog. My only plea is that you keep your details up to date. There is nothing more frustrating than to scan a found dog and find a microchip only to discover that they have moved house or changed mobiles and the contact details are no longer valid. It is easy to do via email or a phone call to the microchip registration company.

Microchips can be inserted by a veterinary surgeon or qualified veterinary nurse and for a small, one off fee you can have peace of mind for the lifetime of your dog. So go on, next time you are in the surgery why not ask “can I have a chip with that please”.