Microchips are a permanent, easy way to identify lost pets and help reunite them with their owners. Still, some clients worry
about the risks associated with inserting a chip. For these people, Paige Phillips, RVT, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and assistant hospital administrator at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas
in Cary, N.C., offers this script.
You: Mrs. Jones, this is the second time you've mentioned Harley getting out of your yard. Have you considered implanting a microchip
in Harley in case she were to ever get lost? Unlike collars or tags, microchips can't be easily removed, so no matter where
Harley wanders, she can be identified and returned to you.
Client: I've thought about it, but it sounds like a painful process.
You: Actually, inserting the microchip is about as painful as you getting your ears pierced. In fact, it probably even hurts less
than that because microchips are injected into an animal's scruff area between the shoulder blades. Typically, injections
given in the scruff area, just under the skin, tend to be less painful because that area contains more excess skin and fat
and fewer nerves than other areas of an animal's body. Your dog will feel about as much sensation as she would with any other
injection, like a shot for a vaccination.
Client: I don't know. What about after the injection? Are there any risks?
You: Microchips are excellent resources, and they're usually completely problem-free. However, there have been a few cases of
microchips migrating to other areas of the body, or, sometimes, an animal has developed an infection associated with the microchip.
But these cases aren't common. In general, Harley shouldn't feel any sensation, including pain, after the microchip has been
inserted. Most likely, she won't even know it's there.