Thursday, 17 January 2008
Microchips to identify lost dogs, cats
January 17, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Have you lost your pet? It's no cause for concern, if you have micro-chipped your dog or cat. An increasing number of Hyderabadis are going in for micro-chips to identify their lost pets. Already about 2000 pet lovers have implanted the device underneath the skin of their pets and are leading a virtually worry-free life.
Micro-chipping is fast catching up in the State, though GPS pet tracking for cats and dogs is yet to find its way in India. Micro chips help in identification of a lost pet only when it is traced by animal activists or municipal authorities. But GPS pet tracking system tells the pet owners where exactly on the Earth the lost animal is roaming.
A micro chip costs just Rs 500 while the cost of GPS pet tracking system is prohibitive by Indian standards. Moreover, the technology is yet to be introduced in the State.
"Injecting micro chips into the skin of a dog or a cat is a simple procedure and is painless. There's no need for sedation. Each micro chip has a unique identification number. The chip remains inside the skin of the animal for life.
It costs just Rs 500 and can be implanted (injected) by a veterinary surgeon," says Dr Muralidhar of Pet Friends Dog Clinic. The GPS pet tracking system is attached to the collar of the dog. It does not work in case of small animals like cats. For cats there's a special radio device which traces the location of the animal. But GPS is an
advanced technology and has been successfully used in dogs.
The GPS receivers are specially designed keeping in view the size of the animal. GPS receivers and mobile phone modems allow easy tracking of dogs by their owners. Certain brands of GPS receivers have the facility for remote charging of batteries attached to the collar of dogs.
Whenever the animal goes out of the "virtual fence", the unit transmits information via GPS satellite to a GSM modem informing the owner about the exact location of the pet.
"Such a device is yet to be introduced in the country. But as and when the technology is available, it will be a big hit with the pet lovers," says animal rights activist K Subba Rao.
On the other hand, micro chip helps to identify a dog that has been stolen. The micro chip is implanted or rather injected through a needle between a dog's shoulder blades. It remains permanently inside the skin (sub-cutaneous), without causing any side effects to the animal.
Whenever a lost or stolen pet is found, the veterinarian reads the micro chip through a hand-held scanner to identify the unique identification number of the animal concerned. All one has to do before injecting the micro chip is to get the animal registered with the nation-wide pet club concerned. In case of dogs, it is the kennel club and the feline club for cats. The micro chip is very small, smaller than a grain of rice.
Those who own rare and costly breeds prefer micro-chipping as a precautionary measure. This is a must if the owner wants to claim insurance.
In the USA and European countries micro-chipping is mandatory for all animals, particularly when an animal is being exported. Veterinary surgeons say that micro chips can be injected in many animals, besides cats and dogs. The system works well with birds, rabbits, camels and horses.
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|Definition:||Equipment, such as clothing, tools, or instruments, used for a specific purpose or task.|
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