Original Question: We have just adopted an 11-week-old Bernese Mountain/Lab puppy and considering microchipping him. Wondering on the cost to do so and are there any adverse side effects we should be concerned about? - Jan
Great question. Microchipping is a great way to protect your pet from becoming lost. It also serves as a permanent way to identify your pet, and international travel documents typically require that a pet be microchipped for this reason. A microchip is a very small radio frequency device (typically about the size of a grain of rice) that is implanted under the skin. Once in place, the chip can be read by a scanner that most vet clinics, animal shelters, and Humane Society branches will have on site. The chip has a unique number that will show up on the scanner screen when scanned. This number will be associated with your contact information once it is registered with the chip database. If your pet is lost, a microchip can quickly reunite you with your beloved family member.
The cost of microchipping can vary somewhat, but it is generally very affordable and there are no ongoing long-term costs. The needle required to insert the chip is quite large and can cause mild pain in some pets (although many pets don’t even notice!). A small amount of bleeding may occur as well, but this is uncommon. The chip can migrate under the skin over time, but typically this doesn’t cause problems. There have been reports of more serious side effects, but these are extremely rare. Overall, microchipping is a safe and effective way to identify and protect your pet from becoming lost.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Kim Hester
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