Since microchipping was made compulsory for dogs in 2015, there has been a lot of chatter about microchipping, including many people asking if it’s really safe. The majority of pets that are fitted with pet microchips will not experience any side effects following their implantation and will soon be back to their normal selves. The majority of pets aren’t sedated during the implantation – the exception being when owners request that the implant is placed during a surgical procedure such as neutering or spaying.
Between 1996 and 2011, there were 4 million microchips implanted. Of these, only 391 were reported to have adverse reactions according to the British Small Animal Veterinary Association. That’s around 0.000009775% for those who love a percentage. If you want to keep your pet safe and sound, microchipping is the best way to ensure they are returned to you if they ever go missing or are stolen. To ease your mind about microchipping, read our guide covering the potential side effects of microchipping a dog.
Common side effects of microchipping a dog
Bleeding and Discomfort
The most common side effect of microchipping a dog is bleeding at the implant site, and some mild discomfort during the procedure. The discomfort your pet feels will be no worse than that felt during a booster injection as the needle is not much bigger. If you’ve ever seen a dog be fitted with a microchip, you will see that their discomfort is minimal. A little bleeding around the site might also occur, but this can be stopped by applying light pressure.
Infections or Hair Loss
In rare cases, your dog might develop an infection at the implant site, and this can lead to abscesses if left untreated. To help your pet’s implant site to heal properly, keep the area clean and stop him from being too active in the hours following the procedure. Hair loss can occur as a result of the infection, so you should keep an eye on your pet and report any adverse reactions to your vet or implanter.
By far the most common side effects of microchipping a dog is microchip migration. Your dog will most likely have their implant placed in the scruff of their neck, or in their shoulder. Implants can occasionally migrate to other parts of the body, and implants have been known to show up in the stomach region. Migration usually happens in the first couple of weeks, before the chip has a chance to settle. SmartChip microchips feature a special coating that provides an irregular surface called Parylene C coating. This uses biotechnology to encourage cells to bind to the microchip and keep it in place.