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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2007, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Microchipping

I want to get my two kitties microchipped this month, and I am not sure if microchips are universal, or if there are several brands, one of which being more common than the others... in short, I have no idea where to start and what to get.

I have heard of Avid and HomeAgain, but can't tell for sure what is only marketing arguments and what is true... Any suggestions from those of you who have microchipped pets?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2007, 02:48 PM
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I've worked at my clinic for close to four years now and we had always used the Home Agains... but recently switched to the ResQ brand.

The main reason was that the chips are supposed to be read by all scanners, and the scanners are supposed to read all chips. Or at least tell you there is a chip present... some of the other brands (if I remember correctly) only read that particular chip type and might scan over a different chip as if it wasn't even there. I could be wrong though.

The othe rmain advantage for the ResQ is that they are read in Europe. We have a lot of clients who come in for international health certificates and the pets must be microchipped. But with the other brands, they can get them into the country and then can never actually be read by scanners over there... the ResQ can.

I'm not really that familiar with Avid or the 1800PetWatch(I think) brands just because we don't use them and rarely see them.

I do like the new thing Home Again is advertising that if you report your pet lost they immediately send out lost pet information to surrounding veterinary clinics and shelters...

I'd ask your vet what brand they use and try to found out as much as you can about it. But overall my opinion is that ANY microchip is better than none at all

Jessie

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2007, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info! So you are positive that most scanners will read this ResQ chip? This would be a big plus for me, as would be the European standard, since I may move home in the next few years.

I did find criticism of the chip online, but since it comes from the president of Avid, I don't know what to make of it

New Microchips Won’t Help the Recovery Issue
Editor:
Unfortunately some comments made in the recent article on microchips could be misinterpreted (New Chip Reignites Debate, May 2007). Most veterinarians now understand that microchips are all about radiofrequency or kHz.
The recent spin by new players in the market is causing confusion and can ultimately endanger pets if not explained. Hopefully, this will help clarify the situation.
The majority of the microchip scanners used by veterinary hospitals, animal control, shelters and disaster teams in America will not read the newly introduced AKC-CAR microchip or the Bayer ResQ microchip.
Since 1988 the U.S. has used microchips and scanners that operate at 125 kHz, establishing the widely used and trusted de facto standard in America. The Bayer ResQ chip operates at 134.2 kHz. The AKC chip operates at yet another frequency of 128 kHz.
Neither chip can be read by the vast majority of the scanners used in the U.S. The article refers to a donation of 30,000 scanners that will read these off-frequency microchips. If this is true, the fact still remains that over 75 percent of U.S. scanners would not read these new chips.
As veterinarians, when we microchip a client’s pet, we are expressing or implying that that pet’s microchip can be read if it ends up being scanned by a recovery entity.
The only way to be certain that our representation to clients is true and correct is if we use only 125 kHz microchips. Why? The one known constant in the microchip debate is this: All scanners in use in the field today do read the 125 frequency. No debate.
In my opinion, it is irresponsible and puts veterinarians, clients and pets at risk for any company to introduce an unreadable microchip into a functioning national system without first addressing, or at minimum disclosing, the readability problem.
To ensure the reliability of your microchip program:
1. Use only125 kHz chips to insure national readability.
2. Always test any scanner for read effectiveness of the 125 kHz chip before acquiring one for use in your practice. (Scanners designed to read multiple frequencies lose efficiency.)
For more detailed information, please visit the American Microchip Advisory Council for Animals at www.AmacaUSA.org.

-John R. Wade, DVM
AMACA Advisory
Board Member and
Vice President of Avid
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2007, 04:53 PM
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Ok... I'm trying really hard to remember about this particular microchip and I think I finally got it right.

We have a lot of pets with Home Again chips. We now have a few we've implanted with ResQ chips. We have Home Again scanners and ResQ scanners.

When a pet had a Home Again chip:
The Home Again scanner gave us the number.
The ResQ scanner gave us a number (and I think said it was a Home Again?)

When a pet had a ResQ chip:
The Home Again scanner said there was a chip, but could not give a number.
The ResQ scanner gave a number.

does that make sense?

I could be wrong but I THINK its the scanner that is supposed to be the most impressive part. The scanner (again I think) will read and identify any chip in a pet. But the chips themselves still can't be read by other scanners just because the other scanners aren't designed to read any but their own.

I think they had a program designed to get scanners into most of the shelters. I know when they first came out they had a promotion to buy so many boxes of chips and get a free scanner. I think we got three scanners... sent one to the animal emergency clinic and I think were supposed to send one (or buy another one) for the local humane society. So as far as the article goes, there are probably a lot of shelters who don't currently have the ResQ scanners but they might be able to get one fairly easiliy.

Jessie

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 10:32 AM
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I Chloë has a Home Again microchip. We're planning to move to England next year, and through my research I haven't heard of anyone having problems with the microchip being read over there with that brand. I don't know about other EU countries though.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks a lot for the info... The UK is a special case in Europe - we often joke that nothing is done over there as it is in the rest of the European Union

I did a lot of reading since yesterday, and found out that France will only accept ISO 11784 microchips for pets imported into the country. Unfortunately, those chips, considered "universal" are difficult to read in the US, where the market is dominated by Avid and HomeAgain, whose chips operate at a frequency of 125kHz, against 134.2kHz for European ISO 11784 chips.

The "universal" scanners promised by different brands are apparently not distributed as widely as needed, and most shelters and vets still operate in close association with either Avid or HomeAgain... and their scanners may detect a ISO 11784 chip, but not identify the number and encoded information.

So... I have contacted several microchip companies for more technical info; I may have to end up with two chips on each cat, one that is sure to be read by most US shelters and vets, and one for when I eventually move back home

I wish the European Union and the US would stop fighting over every single detail of every possible subject, and start working towards universal solutions... be it over issues like this one, or commercial regulations, they look like two kids fighting over their shovel in a sandbox
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 05:56 PM
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I think I've heard that having more than one microchip is a bad idea - that they can get in the way of each other when it comes to the scanners. But again, I could be wrong. (wow, I've not been much help at all!)

While not all vets or shelters actually have scanners to read all types of chips, but I'd think the numbers would only increase. I think your best bet is to try to find the ISO compliant chip if you think you'll EVER need it to get out of the country.

If your pets do happen to get out and picked up, I think the fact that they have a chip is a step in the right direction. They would know they had an owner that cared... and might even put in that extra effort to find someone with a scanner that could read the chip.

What you could do is try to contact the shelters/vets in your area to see if any have these types of scanners and if not, contact the companies to see if they are willing to send them one. Worth a shot!

Jessie

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 08:57 PM
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You can buy microchips online, I can try to find a site for you if you want.

I think that rather than doing two microchips, you my want to just buy your own scanner. I also go to a forum for US to UK immigrants and many people ended up doing that.

Yeah, I know the UK is different, but the world would be such a less interesting place if everywhere was the same!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 09:09 PM
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I've had both my kitties microchipped with Avid/PetTrac. Since that seems to be the norm in San Diego and it's a nationwide system, and all the local Humane Societies here use those scanners, I'm fine with it. I didn't realize there were so many differences, though.

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