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D2011-08

Dear Daisy Dog

Our dog Cooper was microchipped about a year ago when he was neutered. Recently, at another veterinary hospital, the scanner couldn’t find the chip. What should we do?

Daisy Responds

Congratulations on having Cooper microchipped. If he ever gets lost, his chip and an identification tag on his collar will help ensure that you’re reunited. I certainly feel secure having my own microchip.

In rare instances, though, a microchip may be missed during scanning.

This might have occurred with Cooper’s chip if the second veterinarian used an outmoded scanner that detects only one microchip frequency.

You see, the U.S. uses 125, 128 and 134.2 KHz microchips, while Europe, Canada, Australia and Asia use only the 134.2 KHz chip. So in the U.S., it’s important that veterinary hospitals and shelters use one of the newer universal scanners.

Even if the second veterinarian used a universal scanner, it may not have been sensitive enough to identify Cooper’s chip.

Another possibility is that Cooper’s microchip may have migrated from where it was implanted (under the skin over his shoulder blades) to another location, perhaps down one front leg or the other. Thorough, slow, multiple-pass scanning is necessary to find a chip that has migrated.

A third possibility, though very rare, is that Cooper’s microchip may have fallen out before it could adhere to the spot where it was implanted under his skin.

To determine whether his microchip is still in place, return to the implanting veterinarian for scanning. If the chip isn’t detected, ask about an x-ray to determine whether the chip is still in place.

Once the problem is resolved, ask your veterinarian to scan Cooper during each annual wellness exam to ensure that the microchip functions as it should.

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