Microchipping 101: The Most Reliable Way of Pet Identification.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small computer chip that’s inserted under your pet’s skin. The microchip itself is smaller than a grain of rice. Each individual microchip is labeled with a unique number. In fact, the unique number combination is the only information stored in the microchip. This unique number is what is linked to the owner’s information. When a special scanner (available at most veterinary clinics) scans the chip, the unique numerical code appears on the scanner. From there, the chip number can be looked up in a universal microchip database. Then, we can call the company to help get the pet re-united with the rightful owners. Microchips are a simple solution to a very common problem.
How is the microchip implanted? Are there any side effects?
The microchip is placed under the skin by a veterinarian using a needle. There is no cutting or sutures involved. However, the needle used to implant the chip is a large bore needle, so while we can microchip a patient anytime, we usually recommend doing it when the patient is under anesthesia for a spay, neuter or a dental cleaning, as the implantation can be uncomfortable. Common side effects seen include temporary injection site pain, and some minimal bleeding from the injection site. Overall, it is a generally very safe procedure, with no downtime and most pets do not experience any side effects at all.
My pet never leaves my sight, why would I need to microchip him?
Although no one plans on ever losing their pet, it happens. Maybe there’s a hole in your fence and your pet escapes. Maybe a maintenance worker accidentally leaves the door open. Maybe a natural disaster suddenly strikes and somehow you are separated from your beloved pet, and their collar and tags have fallen off. The only foolproof way to link your pet to you is through a microchip. Every shelter, animal control, and veterinarian’s office scans for microchip (FOR FREE!) if a stray pet is brought in.
I think my pet was microchipped when I adopted him, how do I make sure my information is linked to his microchip number?
Perhaps the most important part of microchipping your pet is to ensure the microchip company has your current contact information. To do this, bring your pet to a veterinarian to get scanned and write down the microchip number. Ask the person who scans the chip to tell you what company is registered to that specific chip number. From there, all you have to do is call the microchipping company and ensure you are linked to your pet and your information is current.
Ultimately, microchipping is an excellent way to be linked to your pet at all times! If you have any questions about microchipping, please give us a call!
Assembling a Pet Emergency Kit
Emergencies happen and can be scary and stressful for pets as well as their owner. One way to help alleviate this stress is to prepare in advance.
A Pet Emergency Kit can be easily assembled beforehand and can be kept in a Tupperware container or duffle bag for easy access in the event of an emergency like a flood, hurricane, fire, or any other disaster that requires quick evacuation.
What should a good Emergency Kit Include?
- Water– Hydration is vital to your pet’s health so make sure you have at least 3-5 days of water in your kit. Don’t forget to include a water bowl- a collapsible one makes storing a little easier.
- Food- Make sure to have at least 3 days of food packed for you pet. If your pet likes wet food, invest in cans. Not only will it encourage your pet to eat during a stressful time because it’s extra tasty, canned food also keeps for a longer time and is waterproof. Canned food is also higher in moisture content, meaning your water supply will last a little longer. Remember- if you pack cans that don’t have a pop-top, DON’T FORGET TO PACK A CAN OPENER as well. Also include a bowl or paper plates!
- Medication– Try to save 3-4 days of your pet’s medication to keep packed in your kit. If you don’t have a few extra doses on hand, add a list of things you would need to grab to add to the kit in case of an emergency and tape it to the lid for easy access. If your pet’s medication requires refrigeration, such as insulin, pack a small collapsible children’s lunchbox. You can either keep ice packs frozen in your freezer to grab and pack or keep frozen water bottles. Frozen water bottles help to keep the medication cold and once the bottles melt- you have extra drinking water.
- Waste Management Items– Your pet will need to eliminate at some point. Having potty pads, poop bags, paper towels and wipes will be crucial in keeping your pet and their environment clean. Unscented baby wipes are great to wipe down your pet, while Clorox or Lysol wipes are good for cleaning up after an accident. If you have cats, you will need these items plus a litter pan, litter and a scoop. A foil lasagna pan or a tupperware container that’s around the size of a litter box can work in a pinch!
- A copy of your pet’s records along with proof of ownership and a recent photo– Generally there’s a lot of confusion surrounding emergencies. Your regular veterinarian may be closed, or phone service may be limited. Having a hard copy of your pet’s up-to-date records with proof of ownership is very important. You can ask your veterinarian’s office to print an updated medical record for you every year with your pet’s annual so you can keep these records current. Also, make sure to keep a current photo for identification purposes. Keep all of these papers in a Ziploc bag so it is waterproof. In this Ziploc, it’s also a good idea to keep a list of resources you may need, like the name, phone number and address of an emergency boarding facility. Our sister location, Sherwood South Animal Hospital is an emergency facility with boarding, open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. They are located at 3803 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and their phone number is (225) 293-6440.
- A collar with identification tags- although microchipping your animal is the most foolproof way of identification, keeping your pet in a collar with identification tags is another great way to make sure your pet gets back to you in case you are separated. Although my pets are microchipped, I also keep an extra collar with identification tags in my emergency kit so I don’t have to look for a collar should an emergency arise.
- Some comfort items– Emergencies are STRESSFUL for not only you but also for your pet. Make sure your kit includes some comfort items like a blanket or a favorite toy. Maybe include a calming pheromone spray like Adaptil (for dogs) or Feliway (for cats).
Once your kit is packed and ready to go be sure to store it in a safe place, preferably near a door so you have easy access to it.
The only other item that crucial during an emergency for small pets is a carrier. A good sturdy carrier that’s large enough for the animal to lay and stand comfortably in is ideal, since your pet could be in their carrier for hours or maybe even days. A good carrier is an investment item, but rest assured you will use it not only in the event of an emergency, but also any time you travel with your pet. It’s also a good idea to keep your carrier out and open at all times which encourages your pet to be comfortable with their carrier. This was incredibly helpful to me when I suddenly had to evacuate during a house fire. My cat was already sleeping in her carrier at the time, so I just had to zip her up and get her out safely.
Ultimately, emergencies are a part of life. Stay prepared & stay safe & as always contact us if you need any help assembling your Pet Emergency Kit!
We would like to extend a big, “THANK YOU!” to everyone who came out to help us celebrate our Open House on March 31. We loved meeting and getting to know you in a more laid-back setting.
The kids loved the bouncy house and enjoyed snacks and lots of fun activities like ‘Decorate Your Own Dog Treat’ and ‘Dress like a Surgeon’. Dr. Green’s dog, Huey, was the star of the Kissing Booth & had the best time sharing the love!
We put so much thought into building this hospital, we were so excited to show it off! You can rest assured we can take care of all of your pets needs because we have a wide variety of diagnostic equipment. From in-house bloodwork, to x-rays, dental cleanings, dental x-rays, ultrasounds, surgery and more, South Baton Rouge Animal Hospital is ready to assist with anything your pet may need. Having this equipment in-house helps us to quickly and effectively diagnose medical issues with very little wait time.
Because we love spoiling our clients and our patients, we gave out a lot of prizes! Raffle winners took home free Trifexis, Heartgard and Revolution as well as cat or dog themed gift baskets. We also held a contest to name our Betta Fish and had a lot of fun going through the suggestions. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page as we reveal what our Betta’s name will be.
If you missed the big day, feel free to drop by any day for a tour of our facility. We’re so proud of this place, we would love to show it to you sometime.
TTraining your pet to get its teeth brushed seems like a daunting task but you would be surprised at how many pets learn to love it. Brushing everyday is the best way to keep your pet’s mouth as healthy as possible since the bacteria on the tooth (called plaque) starts to harden into tartar within 24 hours. Follow these simple steps to train your pet to love a tooth brush:Continue…
Your pet’s dental health is just as important as your own dental health since dental disease can have an effect on the body’s overall health. At least once a year your pet should have their mouth examined by a veterinarian. The doctor will check the mouth for signs of dental disease which includes bad breath, loose or broken teeth, swollen or inflamed gums, and teeth that are covered with tartar. At home you can look for signs of dental disease by paying attention to your pet’s chewing habits. Common signs of dental disease also include dropping food from the mouth, abnormal chewing, reduced appetite or refusal to eat.
The veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning in order to clean and further assess the teeth. Your pet will be placed under light anesthesia which allows us to see every tooth. Just like a human dental cleaning, we will scale, polish, and probe the teeth. We will also perform full mouth radiographs (X-Rays).Continue…