Animal microchipping advised by vets

2016-02-10 06:00

SOME Pietermaritzburg vets encourage pet owners to have their animals microchipped as a form of permanent identification.

Estee van Aardt, Chase Valley vet, recently hosted a micro-chipping day where the public were invited to take their pets to have the identification done as a way of ensuring they can permanently identify their pets.

“Some animals, like cats and mischievous dogs, are difficult to keep a collar or tags on and are therefore difficult to recover if they go missing,” she said.

The microchip can store a variety of information on it such as the owner’s names, regular vet, home address and contact numbers. All the information is then entered into a database so if an animal is chipped the chance of getting hold of the owner is good.

It is not a tracking chip, rather the owner would need to go into their SPCA or vet to scan animals for their numbers.

“Microchips last a lifetime. It’s owners’ responsibility to keep their details updated with the service provider. It’s also quite commonly used in exporting and registering animals with breed societies because every chip has a unique number,” said Van Aardt.

The microchip is injected under the skin in the neck area. The needle is slightly thicker than a normal needle used for vaccinating dogs and about as thick as a needle used to inject bigger animals, like cows and horses. The actual chip is smaller than a rice grain and is coated so it causes no reaction in the body.

“It’s a little painful, but not that bad because it’s done so quickly. I would imagine it being similar to having a stud shot into your ear,” said Van Aardt.

The most common use is dogs and cats, but horses are also done, as well as buffaloes and even rhino.

Most veterinary clinics offer the service and are currently running specials for February. For more information visit

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