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Gargoyle Eye

nightmer in dogsintraining


My boyfriend and I recently got our first puppy, Ares the shiba inu!  Things have been going surprisingly smoothly for a shiba pup, and he really is the smartest, most engaging puppy I've ever met.

So, he's 15 weeks and almost ready for his last DHPP and his rabies vaccine.  I want to get him microchipped but my vet originally said they like to wait until neutering so as not to traumatize the dog.  However, we just moved from an apartment to a house so his risk of escaping has increased significantly and I'm uncomfortable waiting several more months unless I have to.

I like my vet but their office is very, very conservative about safety issues compared to pretty much anyone else I've talked to, so what's your opinion on microchipping when the dog isn't already under?  And if I go ahead with it should I wait a stretch of time after the rabies/DHPP?  I know it can be done, I'm just wondering how upset your dogs were by the experience with the larger needles.  Ares currentl adores the vet's office so I don't want to sour him on the place.

2012-10-31 00.38.15

2012-11-08 04.08.07


I've never had a dog under while they were microchipped. o.0 It takes about 5 seconds. Yeah, the needle is big, but i the skin is held and placed right, it's not too bad. The few seconds of pain (I guess it's probably similar pain to getting your ears pierces) is less stress then being anesthetized. If they were getting another procedure, sure, I would have it done then, but I wouldn't wait to have it done.
Dang, that doesn't sound like a big deal. I suppose I'm glad my vet is overly cautious but they just end up making me really paranoid.
I've never had one under to do it either but our new vet does it with neuter too. I was like UM OK. I've done microchip clinics and it's no big deal. At work, we always fed the dog treats (with the owners permission) during the quick jab. It was never an issue.
Yeah, I've had 4 dogs chipped, only the tinniest puppy cried, and that one was done by his breeder in her home when we picked him up. Love and kisses and 5 minutes later I don't think he remembered it.

The best one I had done was on a 4.5 month old puppy. The vet talked to me while he did it, pinched/tented the shin between the shoulder blades, and said that he squeezed till the dog felt a lot of pressure and turned his head to look, and as he turned his head and pulled the skin even more on one side, the vet stuck him. He didn't even blink. I think the pinching might have been a tiny bit uncomfortable, but his tail was wagging the entire time, and I had treats in his face to boot.

Definitely no need to to hold off on!
When the vet microchipped my dog, she was about 4 months old. No need to go under. He simply injected the chip into her, causing her to yelp in pain for a second, then it was over. No negative associations with the vet... she's still happy to go there. Whenever I visit the vet with her I ask them to scan the chip to make sure it's still working and they always kindly oblige.
I have a friend who is a breeder who microchips her puppies with their first round of puppy vaccinations, so around 6-8 weeks. I've had numerous animals microchipped and it's never seemed to traumatize any of them. Sounds like your vet might find it more traumatic than the dog will. Give your pup a few extra yummy treats while it's going on (my vet uses peanut butter on a tongue depressor) and it's likely your puppy will barely notice - and he may not notice at all.
It is standard practice here in Australia to microchip pups as young as 6-8 weeks old and they are not anesthetized for it. Luigi was chipped at about 10 weeks and he was fine with the needle. He got it at the same time as his last puppy shot.
We adopted our dog as an adult, but when he was microchipped I was there for the procedure. It is a chip less than the size of a grain of rice and they held the skin on his shoulders up, swabbed the site with something first and then injected it, I don't remember him even yelping, and he was awake the whole time.

If you are worried about a negative association, try to bring his favorite toys, a new toy, or a jackpot of treats to give him IMMEDIATELY after the procedure. Ouch, a little pinch but OOOOH TOYS AND YUMS!!!!
None of my animals are microchipped; I feel the chip causes irritation which can lead to cancer and/or tumors. Being that the chip is inserted at the primary vaccination site on a dog, I'm not just blowing smoke; there's a memorial site created for a French bulldog who developed cancer at that site and his humans still maintain the site in order to publicize the problem of canine cancer:

I've adopted two animals in the past that were already microchipped: a cat, who I had only ten months before she became very sick and died of inoperable cancer, and a dog I had to rehome after ten months and therefore never found out if the chip would cause problems. Plus, he had been found on the streets and taken in by a shelter; the chip had never been registered—so obviously it didn't help him be tracked one single bit.

I'm aware the chips don't cause [documented] problems in the vast majority of animals that have them in, but I personally would never implant a radiation source under my own skin; why cause potential problems when you don't have to? Canine and feline cancers are both on the rise—some say epidemic—and I'm puzzled at why people think microchipping their pets is the only way to identify them if lost.
Microchips aren't a source of radiation and are completely inert until activated by the scanner. They have absolutely no power on their own and there is no scientific reason to think they would cause cancer.

Microchips are implanted in millions of animals, both pets and livestock, and the number of reported incidents are vanishingly small. I personally injected microchips in hundreds of salamanders, creatures much more sensitive to their physical environment than dogs, and never had a problem even years after the implantation.

Personally I am much more afraid of my dog getting lost and put to sleep at a crowded shelter which could have been prevented with an updated microchip than the fantastically rare chance of a reaction to the chip. Tags fall off, tattoos fade and don't have a universal registry, but a microchip with correct information is going to stick with your dog and bring them home.
Pretty much all of this. I've never chipped salamanders though - that must have been super cool.

oh that s so cool about the salamanders!
back when I was growing up (in the 1950's) I used to wonder about our newts, how far they went, if they came back to the same part of the creek every year--how long they lived...
there wasn't a good way to mark them,then
It was a pretty cool study. They all left the pond the way they came in and made their way back to their own particular part of the woods until they came back the next year. We wouldn't have been able to gather nearly as much info if they weren't chipped. Earlier studies clipped off specific toes on each foot to label individuals but the toes grow back and others lose more toes in fights so it's not very accurate, especially in large populations of long-lived salamanders.
My dog has a chip and an ear tattoo and the tattoo was NEVER legible to me, even when she was a puppy. Chips all the way!
IAWTC. The studies regarding chips and cancer are very questionable and the instances of suspected problems are extremely, exceptionally rare. Also, chips do not in any way emit radiation. I don't know where the commentor from above came up with that.

Also, another factual error in the above comment-- the chips are not inserted at the "primary vaccination site". There is no such thing. Rabies should always be given in the Right Rear leg. DHPP should always be given in the Right Front shoulder. Bordetella (if injectable, not intranasal) should be given in the Left Front. For cats, Feline Leukemia vaccine should be given in the Left Rear. Anyone just giving a vaccine in the scruff is either doing so because they're lazy or the animal is fractious. But that's still all a moot point as there is no known correlation between giving injections/vaccines near a microchip vs. not.

I could go on, but I won't. You can always find someone somewhere (especially on the internet) with a horror story about something and all kinds of supposed "proof" to back it up. (Based one some alarmist theories, we're all going to die of cancer caused by cell phones and microwaves.) But the fact is, millions and millions of animals get microchipped every year without any problems or reactions or related cancers later in life. Microchips have been around long enough for us to have seen multiple generations of animals that have lived their entire life with one.
IMO, cancer is on the rise in cats & dogs due to the crappy food a large portion of the population feeds. I think commercial pet food is a much more likely culprit. And I agree, I would be much more concerned about my pet being erroneously put to sleep or just never reunited with me if they were ever to get lost.
Many years ago, before microchips were commonly available, one of my dogs got out and was hit by a car. Her collar was torn off in the accident. Unidentified dog, horribly injured; police dragged her out of the road and called the pound...

Luckily for us, an absolute angel of a man saw the police moving her, picked her up, and took her to the nearest vet...which happened to be mine. They knew she was one of their clients' but could not remember who. Still, she was cared for until I got home, realized she was missing, and made a beeline for the vet's to let them know.

So, yeah, microchips; early and often!
we took our boy in for his first vet visit at 9 weeks and had the chip put in then. he didn't even flinch. i wouldn't be worried, and if your vet is so concerned i'd ask why.

Edited at 2012-12-26 03:43 am (UTC)
Hmmm, we adopted our Lab at about 2.5 years, but she wasn't chipped. At our first vet appointment, I had the vet chip her and she didn't put her under at all. It took less than a minute. She didn't seem traumatized at all (the dog, not the vet, heh).
My vet did my oldest dog when she went under to be spayed. It;s not necessary, but it is a big needle, and if they are going under soon anyhow I would wait. But, if you feelthe risk is high he might get out, then I'd do it now. My youngest was done around 7-8 weeks just as a quick office visit.
I think either way is won't be an issue..

Microchipping is important, I wouldn't wait. It is ouchy for a moment though, so hold him steady and have a great treat ready (my ACD forgave us pretty quickly after the "that was NOT a vaccine you jerk" yelping response when I shoved a chunk of beef down his throat XD...his reaction was more a surprise than actual pain, he stands for vaccinations on command and I gave that command, he was prepared for barely a pinch and got the monster needle XD)

I think it's more important to get him chipped. If you wan't want him seeing the vet as a scary monster and he's a super soft tempered (or nervy) dog many weekend clinics do microchipping (I got my ACD done at Petco), and there isn't much risk in general so going cheap isn't that bad a way to go...
How sensitive is he to pain? Most of our pups get chipped earlier than their desexing. Our vet also tried to sell the "it's better when they're out", then they forgot to chip Twist while she was under for her spay. *sigh* Thus all five have all been chipped while awake. Strider's the only one not fond of the vet anymore (and that may be because of a bad stick on a vaccine prior to the microchip prepping him to be leery of the vet). I'd take along a liberal handful of excellent treats, and drop them in front of your puppy as the vet pinches scruff for the injection. In most cases, they are distracted and don't seem to mind.
Everyone's already answered about the chip (Kaiya got hers when she was spayed, so I'm no help anyway), so I just want to say "Yay! Another Shiba!" He's utterly adorable. And yeah, they're super smart, so just keep training him and keeping him busy and you'll be fiine.
All animals I have had microchipped were fully conscious when it was done. The youngest was a 6 week old pup I was getting from the shelter. They chipped him so as not to give him to anyone else before I could take him from the litter at 8 weeks. I have watched it done. All it is to the dog is like a shot as it is done by injection. It's very quick and it's over before they even have a chance to react. The person inserting the chip will usually scan it afterwards to make sure it is working. I see no reason to wait til your dog is older if you are concerned about the escape possibility.
It's not that bad. It's just a really big needle. It takes literally a few seconds to inject and be done with it. I'm a vet tech and do it on tons of awake animals all the time. I find that many of them don't even yelp or anything (though sometimes the more dramatic pups or realllly small dogs and kittens do-- but even if they do, it literally only lasts a second). I personally would just go ahead with it. Also, there's no reason it can't be done at the same time as the last shots.

Make sure you get the chip registration done whenever he does have it in. I can't tell you how many people don't realize that they have to do it and then it's a huge pain (and occasionally impossible) for us to track down owners of found pets.

Also, I always recommend that people have the chip scanned again a few months after placement just to make sure everything is still working (they will scan it when they put it in, but I always double check again later).

Edited at 2012-12-26 07:51 pm (UTC)
Firstly and most importantly: OMG what a cute puppy! ;) That's some serious personality.

Oh and personally, I wouldn't wait. See the guy in front in my user pic? I almost lost him. He got away from me (due to my stupidity) and ran 2 or 3 miles away. He had tags, but they were out of date. His appointment to get microchipped was, ironically enough, first thing in the morning the very next day. I only got him back due to the efforts of several very kind strangers.

Yeah, the shot hurts a bit more than the ordinary shots but it's not a big deal.
My bigger boy was done at around 5-6 months (as I recall) along with vaccinations and he didn't even blink. My pup was done at the shelter, either when she was under for her spay, or (more likely) right as I picked her up (4-5 months). The boy's is still in place and causing no problems 6 years later. The girl's has migrated to the middle of her shoulder.
Everyone else has pretty much said what I was going to, but I'll add my two cents. Rosie got her chip out of my view, but she stayed happy about going to the vet's until recently. A quick yelp from her and then they brought her back to me - and she was happy with everyone still. Her fear of the vet we think is from getting a fox tail seed removed from her ear...combined with my husband taking her and me being at home with the new baby.

So, in short, I'd say go for the chip. So much better to have that extra sense of security.

June 2014

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