Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

How Safe are Pet Microchips?

Is microchipping your pet a good idea? Dr. Karen Becker discusses the benefits and risks.

A microchip is a glass bead about the size of a grain of rice which is implanted between an animal’s shoulder blades. It contains a radio transmitter, an antenna, and a computer chip with a 10-digit code. The information contained in a microchip has to be read by a scanner — it is not a GPS system that will allow you to track and locate your pet.

Most humane societies and rescue organizations require that adopted pets be microchipped, so if your pet came from a shelter there’s a good chance he or she already has one.

For those of you who are still considering a microchip for your pet, there are a few important items you should first consider.

With or Without Anesthetic?

Most veterinarians will likely tell you that microchipping your pet is painless. But at my practice we would never even consider microchipping without some local anesthetic.

And I highly recommend that if your pet gets a microchip, you insist on anesthetic. No matter what you have been told, the procedure hurts — the chip is inserted with a really big 12-gauge needle!

Potential Microchipping Problems

Pet microchips are inserted underneath your pet’s skin right between his shoulder blades.

This poses some problems because on occasion the microchip can migrate under the shoulder blade or up to the back of the neck — or even all the way down to the belly.

So if your pet has been microchipped, make sure you have a vet scan to identify exactly where it is. Once you know where it is, check it once a week to make sure there are no changes, at that it doesn’t feel any different.

If you can feel your pet’s microchip, it will feel like a grain of rice under your pet’s skin.

Are Microchips Necessary and Safe?

These are the two major questions that most everyone asks about microchips. One, are they necessary and, two, are they safe.

As with any medical procedure, you have to weigh the risks versus the benefits, and in this case it’s often a very individual decision.

If your pet has a high chance of being separated from you, for instance he bolts out your door every chance he gets and doesn’t come back when called, a microchip may be a good idea.

Millions of animals do escape or get lost from their owners every year, and less than 10 percent are ever reunited. Even if your pet has a microchip, however, its ability to help you find your pet depends on whether or not it can be scanned.

There are four types of microchips used in the United States, and unfortunately most facilities do not have a universal scanner that can read all the different chips. Then, the person must be sure to scan your entire pet, not just between the shoulder blades, in case the chip has migrated.

Further, if your pet is microchipped make sure the microchip is registered and that your registered contact information is up-to-date. Otherwise, even if a facility finds your pet and reads the microchip, they will not be able to contact you.

So if you cannot commit to updating your contact information with the appropriate registration facility, getting a microchip for your pet is not a good idea, as you’re getting none of the benefit and only the risk.

What is the risk?

The Major Risk of Microchips

The major concern any time you implant a foreign body into your pet, whether that’s a microchip, a metal plate for a fracture or any other material, there’s the potential for your pet’s body to reject the substance.

There have been two documented cases in veterinary medicine where sarcoma or fibrosarcoma, two types of soft tissue tumors, occurred at the site of the injection.

While two cases are not very many, I believe there are likely many more cases that have not been documented. Research shows that between 1996 and 2006, up to 10 percent of laboratory animals had some type of reaction to being microchipped, ranging from a localized inflammatory response to tumor formation at the site of the injection.

Needless to say, it’s important to realize that implanting any foreign material into your pet’s body is a risk.

So if you believe that your pet is safe in your home, such as an indoor housecat or a dog that’s appropriately trained (which in my opinion would eliminate the need for chips!) or pets that are always kept on a leash outdoors — and most importantly, is a dog that knows his name and comes when he’s called — there’s a very good chance that you do not need a microchip. And in these cases the risks do outweigh the benefit.

However, if your dog doesn’t know to “come” or you let her outdoors off-leash and just hope she comes back, these are high-risk situations. Ideally, you should rearrange your lifestyle to keep a closer reign on your dog or get some obedience training.

If this isn’t a possibility, then microchipping your pet may be an option. But do remember that microchips carry the risk of an autoimmune reaction or a degenerative reaction where your pet’s immune system becomes aggravated or chronically inflamed, which can in turn lead to tissue degeneration and abnormal cell growth, or cancer at the site of implantation.

Are There Other Options?

The decision of whether or not to microchip is highly dependent on your individual circumstances and pet. However, if you’d like an alternative one way to mark your pet without implantation under the skin is tattooing.

For example, your phone number can be tattooed onto your pet’s thigh while he is already under anesthesia for spaying or neutering. Be aware, if you do this, that phone numbers can change! You’ll have to commit to the same number for the life of your pet.

This continues to be a highly debated topic in veterinary medicine, and it’s really important that you weigh risk versus benefit when deciding on microchipping. This will help you make the best decision for the pets in your care.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

November 14, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cute Puppy and Kitty Video…

For all the people with puppy loving hearts, I would like to share this great video I’ve found in Youtube. It’s a full length masterpiece of puppies and kittens playing together, really a heart-warming gift to everyone. I can picture a great bonding time with my family while watching this on tv. Please see for yourself, and find a delightful moment right away.. here’s the link:

Posted: Posted:  Just One More Pet

November 14, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, pet fun, Pets | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American Humane: Help us continue to offer Foreclosure Pets Grants.

When Kathy spotted an emaciated Rottweiler along the side of a highway in Tennessee, she realized that there was something different about “Ella.” Ella was friendly and eager for attention — behavior that is unusual for either a stray or an abused animal. She had clearly been loved by someone.

Ella's nestIn the wooded area just off the highway, Kathy discovered a “nest” where Ella had been sleeping (pictured here). It was strewn with someone’s personal items, including a toothbrush, razor, comb and candle.

Please donate to American Humane’s Foreclosure Pets Grants >>
Then Kathy remembered something crucial. A few weeks earlier, a terrible car wreck had taken place on the highway… very close to where Ella had made her makeshift home. Kathy contacted the state’s highway patrol and learned that a family had been in the car, and that they all survived.

Rescuers had never seen Ella, who had likely been thrown from the car. The dog foraged on her own for a few weeks, drinking from a drainage ditch and patiently waiting for beloved family members who thought their special pet was dead!
Help pets that have been separated from suffering families: donate to American Humane today >>

Ella todayAmerican Humane stepped in when they learned that the family’s medical bills had caused tremendous financial strain. The money they had set aside for a new home had to be used for medical bills instead. While the family struggled with this financial hardship, American Humane provided a critical grant to Kathy’s animal shelter to help fund Ella’s care.

Though unable to bring Ella back into their new home at this time, the family was thrilled to see her and hopes to be reunited for good in the future. Meanwhile, Ella is living safely and comfortably in a loving foster home.

During this month of giving thanks, please consider a donation to help fund American Humane’s Foreclosure Pets Grants. A single act of generosity — no matter how small — will make a tremendous difference for pets like Ella, whose families are undergoing extreme financial hardship. Get started >>

Shelters and animal rescues across the country are seeing a surge in the number of animals surrendered due to foreclosure situations. People, with nowhere else to turn, are looking to shelters for assistance in caring for their pets, either temporarily or permanently. To help, American Humane offers Foreclosure Pets Grants, which go directly to shelters so they can help these families and provide housing and medical care for displaced animals, so they never have to turn one away. Please help us reach out to animal shelters during this challenging financial crisis. Thank you!

For donations made by mail, please send to:
American Humane Association
63 Inverness Drive East
Englewood, CO  80112

Will your employer match your contribution?

Donate Now >>

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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November 14, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Meet Survivors of the Largest Dog Fighting Raid in History


This past July, the ASPCA assisted in collecting forensic evidence and conducting behavior evaluations of rescued dogs in a federal and multi-state investigation that led to one of the toughest crackdowns on dog fighting in U.S. history. Raids were conducted on various dog fighting operations in eight states and resulted in the rescue of more than 500 dogs.

Now, after months of rehabilitation, many of the rescued dogs are seeing a miraculous change in lifestyle.

Evaluated over the summer by a team of animal behaviorists, including four ASPCA staffers, most of the dogs are absolute gems with people, and quite a number are also good with other dogs.

Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center, Dr. Pamela Reid, who was a member of the behavior evaluations team, says, “We found the dogs to be true to Pit Bull reputation─they were extremely friendly with people. Most greeted us with wagging tails and smiling eyes, and while some were aggressive with other dogs, as would be expected from their history, about two-thirds of the adults and most of the puppies did not test as aggressive. With socialization and training, many of these dogs may well turn out to be excellent pets and companions.”

Check out the following pooches, who after surviving painful lives of dog fighting are not only ready to become loving companions, but will use their stories to inspire others.

dog dog dog

JOMP urges everyone to speak up if you know about, hear about, witness or even suspect any type of neglect or abuse to animals or or humans.  It is all related!!

November 14, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment