Implantation of a chip is done by giving a simple injection. In the common domestic species, no anaesthetic is needed, and no stitches are required.
Any species of animal can be implanted with an identification microchip. The commonest are dogs, cats, horses, parrots, birds of prey, tortoises and rabbits.
Where does the chip go?
In dogs, cats, ferrets & rabbits, the chip is placed approximately between the shoulderblades. In other species, different sites of implantation are used. There is an international agreement regarding the recommended sites for implantation.
Who can implant chips?
Any suitably trained person is permitted to implant a dog, cat, ferret or rabbit. We are perfectly happy to microchip small dogs, cats, kittens and puppies. We are used to handling small dogs.
Who can read chips?
All RSPCA homes, dog wardens, many police forces, most vets, and many other rescue organisations are equipped with scanners to read chips. Being scanned for a microchip is one of the first things that happens to any stray animal.
What information is stored on a chip?
The chip contains nothing more than a unique 15-digit code. This code is registered on a national computer database, to which everyone who has a reader has access. Stored on the database with the chip number are the details of the animal and contact information for the owner.
How can I tell if an animal has been chipped?
It is usually not possible to feel a chip with your fingers, and there are no visible marks, so the only way to tell if there is a chip is to scan the animal. Some dogs wear a collar tag that tells finders that they have a chip. Chips can be seen on xrays.
Are there any dangers?
The chip is just an inert piece of bio-compatible glass. The body tissues react to it with a mild painless inflammation which results in the chip being embedded in some scar tissue. It does not emit any radiation or microwaves, etc. And there are no known effects on health.
It is possible that chips could get lost, migrating, or failing to work. In the vast majority of cases the chip stays where it was implanted. There are no moving parts or batteries to wear out, it remains functional for the whole of an animal's life.
On the very rare occasion a chip moves to a different position under the skin - usually it slips down to the side of the chest or lower.
It has also been known for chips to work their way out of the implantation hole several days after implantation. Therefore it is recommended that you do not let the animal get wet, that they are bathed or groomed in the immediate area.
There are also a few reports of chips actually failing to work after a period when they were ok. For this reason, we recommend you occasionally ask us or someone with a scanner to check your pet's chip.