(KCBS) – KCBS’ Jeff Bell talks to Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director of Veterinary Services at The San Francisco SPCA, about the importance of microchipping pets in this week’s Animal Update.

A microchip is a small transponder about the size of a grain of rice. The chip is implanted under the skin beneath your dog or cat’s shoulder blades. Each chip is numbered and linked to the owner’s personal information. If the animal becomes lost, a facility with a scanner, and all shelters and veterinary hospitals have them, can identify the lost pet and contact the owner.

Is it safe to inject a chip into an animal’s body?

The benefits of microchip technology seem to far outweigh the very slight risks, such as chip migration or inflammation at the implant site. More pets die each year as a result of being lost than from all serious diseases combined, and only 14% of lost pets find their way back to their original owners from shelters. But a lost pet who’s been microchipped has an excellent chance of making it back home.

Your veterinarian is your first stop for this procedure, though municipal shelters, such as the San Francisco Animal Care and Control, also may offer this service. It’s important to be certain that the microchip implanted meets international, “ISO,” standards, in case you need to travel abroad. And most importantly, (but sadly often neglected) make sure to contact the microchip company and keep your information, such as address and phone number, up to date at all times, in as many databases as possible.

Animal Update airs on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM on Sundays at 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., and 9:21 p.m.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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