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It is a terrible feeling when you realize your pet is lost—a feeling compounded by the knowledge that the statistics are against you and your pet being reunited: only 2% of cats and about 17% of dogs ever make it home after wandering off. But microchipping (along with making sure your pet has updated, legible tags) can significantly boost your chances of bringing your pet home again if he or she gets lost. Our veterinarian in Los Angeles explains why this is one of our most popular services.
Microchipping is a very simple, inpatient procedure that takes just a few minutes and can be done during a regular checkup, or even while your pet is under anesthesia for another procedure, such as spay or neuter surgery. If you have not already had your pet microchipped, you can schedule an appointment for that alone as well. During the procedure, our veterinarian in Hollywood uses a hypodermic needle to inject a tiny, glass capsule that contains the microchip under your pet’s skin, usually right between the shoulder blades. The capsule is only about the size of a grain of rice, so after the initial and temporary discomfort of the needle injection, your pet forgets about it. The discomfort level is about the same as your pet’s vaccinations: a very temporary discomfort for a lifetime of protection!
Once inside, the microchip settles into and starts bonding with the subcutaneous tissues so that it does not generally shift more than a few millimeters from the injection site. The microchip contains a code very similar to the barcodes on merchandise at the grocery store. It does not transmit any information, but the information linked to the code can be read by a scanner if your pet is brought to a shelter or a veterinary clinic. The scanner reads the code on the pet microchip and the contact information registered with that code appears and the staff can then contact you and you can retrieve your pet.
The microchips we use are built to last 25 years—far beyond a normal pet lifespan. This means lifetime contact and identification information is contained within your pet—unlike tags that can get lost, stolen or worn down. Keep in mind, though: legible, up-to-date tags with your phone number on them can still be used by anybody on the street who finds your pet, so keep them updated and attached to your pet as well. Having both identification methods on your pet increases your chances of being reunited!
Important note: pet microchipping is really only as useful as the contact information registered with the microchip. This means that it is vitally important for you to remember to contact the registry and update your contact information if you ever move or go on an extended vacation with your pet. We can explain the process during your appointment.
Contact us for a pet microchipping appointment today: 310-734-0176.