Lakewood Veterinarians Stress Importance of Microchip Identification

LAKEWOOD, Colo., May 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A Lakewood veterinarian is urging pet owners to get their pets microchipped. According to Dr. Eric L. Eisen and Dr. Erika Olson of Wadsworth Animal Hospital, the installation of a tiny microchip underneath the skin offers a better chance for a lost pet to be reunited with his owner than a standard external tag can provide. "Implanting a microchip can make it easier for a shelter that recovers the pet to relay its information to a national pet database," says Dr. Eisen. "As a result, microchip identification can reduce the number of pets who go unclaimed in shelters."

The microchip, a small data chip with a pet's individual serial number encoded on it, does not require surgery to install. Since it is barely larger than a grain of rice, Lakewood veterinarian Dr. Eisen can deliver in just under the skin via hypodermic injection.

"Some pet owners who have resisted microchip identification may not realize just how quick, simple and affordable the insertion process really is -- it's certainly nothing compared to major surgery," the veterinarian notes. The device does not run under its own power; instead, an external RFID scanner can retrieve its information simply by scanning the skin. If a lost pet is delivered to an animal shelter with no obvious external identification, the staff will scan for a microchip. The retrieved data is then relayed to the appropriate national pet registry to determine the pet's owner and home.

Dr. Olson points out that a microchip has one immediate advantage over the traditional method of collar-attached ID tags. "When a lost pet is running through brambles or other obstacles, the ID tag can easily be torn off of the collar, making it impossible for anyone who finds him to identify him. Since the microchip remains in one spot under the skin at all times, it provides a permanent ID." He adds, however, that external tags remain a valuable supplement to microchipping because they allow people not armed with scanners to quickly identify the animal.

By allowing owners to find their pets regardless of how far off they may have wandered, the microchip may in fact save many canine and feline lives. According to the ASPCA, 3 to 4 million pets in animal shelters must be euthanized each year because no one adopts them or comes to claim them -- but the majority of those who find their way back to their owners do so because they have been equipped with the proper identification.

"That's reason enough for us to urge all Lakewood owners to get their pets microchipped," says Dr. Olson.

In addition to microchipping, Wadsworth Animal Hospital provides other pet wellness services including puppy and kitten care, dental evaluations, surgery and vaccinations. It also performs surgery and emergency care.

CONTACT: Wadsworth Animal Hospital 888-667-5235Source:Wadsworth Animal Hospital