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Are microchips pulling a disappearing act?

Chip on one's shoulder?

In Timaru, Highfield Vet Centre has reported a small but notable percentage of pets with microchips that are not scanning properly.

The vet centre noticed problems specifically with one brand of microchip it was using regularly. The vet centre declined to name the manufacturer of the chip.

The problem, however, doesn't appear to be isolated to one type as the vet centre also found at least one failed chip of a different origin.

Meanwhile, at Timaru's Family Vet, veterinarian Marnie Crilly said she's encountered three faulty microchips - two in cats and one in a dog. All three cases involved one brand of microchip, which Dr Crilly said she stopped using some time ago. The chips had all been implanted at least a year prior to being found to be unreadable.

"I've communicated with the manufacturer of the microchips and they told me they were doing a survey to learn the extent to which this is happening," she said, adding that she has not yet heard any results from that survey.

What can we do?

Veterinarians across the country have recommended that pet owners have their animals' microchips scanned to be sure that they're working properly. And if you have a dog, make sure they wear registration tags on a collar. A few minutes spent checking these details can prevent a worst-case scenario of your pet getting lost, picked up by animal control and euthanised as a stray due to microchip failure.

But automatic cat doors seem to be the most common issue. When the microchip ceases to work, the automatic cat doors no longer activate for cats. All of a sudden your pet is no longer able to get in or out of its home. Just imagine being locked out from your home; all your keys don’t work. It’s wouldn’t be nice, right?

Additionally, any pet owners whose animals require a replacement microchip should make sure to update their pet's information in both the national and the district council microchip databases.

So make sure to have your vet check your pet’s microchip at their next visit. And if they don’t have one, get one!

Need advice on finding a good place to get your pet microchipped? Or perhaps you need a nice treat post-microchip insertion? Please give us a bell in store on 09 448 2227 and we can help you out!



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