Microchipping is growing in popularity, with an increasing number of animal shelters offering it as a free service to all animals upon adoption.
But what are the statistics surrounding microchipping?
What are the risks? What are the benefits? And - most important - do the benefits outweigh the risks?
|photo: Adobe Veterinary Center|
No anesthesia is required, though I have to admit, I requested it be done while Faraday was anesthetized during his teeth cleaning after I saw Allie cry out when she was injected - those needles are just a teensy bit bigger than standard!
This pellet contains a tracking number that is maintained in a database. That database contains owner information and, depending on the database, can also contain veterinarian info and even medical records.
When an animal is found, one of the first things a veterinarian or animal shelter does is to scan the animal for a microchip.
Microchip Myths, Facts
and Scientific Stuff
One of the stories circulating around microchips is that they cause cancer. That fear may be related to the fact that some vaccination injection sites have proven to cause cancer in some animals, particularly cats. (this will be the topic of a future Monday Medical Issues post). Here's what the research tells us: the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) maintains a database on the adverse reactions of microchips on animals. At the time the study was posted, only 391 animals out of 4 million were reported experiencing an adverse reaction. That's 0.00010%, or 1 out of every 10,000 animals microchipped.
And the majority of those issues involved the migration of the microchip, not cancer. Two of those cases recorded were dogs who had developed cancer at the site, but one of them, according to the BSAVA study, may have been caused by something else.
In comparison, you're about 4 times more likely to die in an auto accident than your pet is to have any kind of adverse reaction at all, and 4 times more likely to be struck by lightning than your pet is to get cancer from a microchip.
As a result, the American Veterinary Medical Association has deemed microchipping to be worth the risk.
|Picture Source: ainhoap and Animal Photos!|
A study of almost 8,000 stray animals at animal shelters concluded that dogs who were not microchipped were only reunited with their owners about 22% of the time.
Dogs who were microchipped were reunited over 52% of the time.
That more than doubled your pup's chance of finding you should you become separated.
And the odds for cats exponentially increase. A non-chipped cat has less than a 2% chance of being reunited with his owner. But microchipped cats went back to their families almost 40% of the time.
We're all for increasing the odds of any lost pet being rehomed, so we give microchips four paws up.
The science behind how microchips work
and other reasons for microchipping youmight not have considered
sources: Lord, et al, "Journal of American Veterinary Medicine Association", July 15, 2009