A little about us
- We are a cat only practice based in the North East of England. A Veterinary Clinic designed exclusively for cats from the ground up. We have been serving Durham, Washington, Gateshead amongst others since 2009.
- Specially designed spacious consulting rooms with cat specific furniture and equipment
- No Dogs
- No barking or loud noises
- No non feline friendly smells (cats live in a world of smells, which is why a cat only clinic is so important not just a cat friendly area within and existing dog and cat vets)
- Every single member of the clinic team loves and cares for cats
What is a microchip?
A microchip, also called an identichip is a small plastic pellet the size of a grain of rice. Inside the pellet is a tiny electronic circuit with a copper coil wound around it. The electronic circuit contains a unique fifteen-digit number. A handheld scanner can be used to read the number contained on the chip. We sweep the reader over the animals back and the reader emits a small magnetic field which activates the chip, then the chip transmits its number as a radio signal. There is no internal power source.
How is the microchip implanted?
The microchip arrives at the vet practice in a sterile pack already loaded inside the bore of a hypodermic needle, along with half a dozen stickers with the unique barcode number of the microchip. The needle is about five times as wide as the needle we use for vaccination.
The microchip implanted via an injection under the skin, usually on the back of the neck between the shoulder blades. The same microchip is used on all species, cats, dogs, and horses, and it is recognised internationally.
The microchipping procedure is straight forward and well-practiced at the veterinary surgery. We do it daily on a regular basis and are usually quite happy to implant one whenever you are visiting. Microchips are implanted by the vet or RVN.
Why microchip my cat?
- Collars can be wriggled out of and lost
- A one-off implantation lasts a lifetime
- A permanent way to link your contact details to your much-loved pet
- Any change in contact details can easily be updated via the database
Is microchipping a painful procedure?
It is not unusual to get a little his or yelp when implanting a chip as it can on occasion sting a bit, but no more so than any other vaccination or injection – and it is a one off procedure!
You may notice a small spot of blood after implanting a microchip. There is an incision made in the skin by all needles when giving an injection. This happens to be a slightly bigger needle but is as likely to knick a small blood vessel in the skin as any other injection. Applying gentle pressure to the area and leave the resulting scab to heal for a few days – no problems!
On occasion the microchip may move under the animals’ skin. Everyone is uniquely different, and, in some cases, there is more room under an animal’s skin for the chip to migrate before settling down (gravity has an effect on us all!). This is not harmful to the animal and you may notice when we are scanning for microchips, we will take large sweeping circles with the chip reader all the way down the back and both flanks.
When can my cat be microchipped?
We prefer not to microchip at the same time as vaccinations. The simple reason for this is that both injections are done in practically the same site. As part of the way a vaccine works, it causes a local reaction in the tissue to stimulate the animal’s immune system into making antibodies against the vaccine. If we put a foreign object into a site close to a vaccine site we are more likely to cause a painful exaggerated tissue reaction.
Sometimes with young animals we prefer to wait until they are a bit older and bigger before we microchip them, purely from a body size issue.
If your pet is in for an operation, we will often ask if you wish to have a microchip implanted when they are under an anaesthetic. As vets and nurses if we can avoid any stings or pinches to our patients, we are all for it!
How do I register my pet’s details?
Details, details, details! Once we have implanted the chip a registration details are sent off to a national database of microchip numbers. The number on the chip implanted into your pet has no connection to you unless your contact details are registered! Ideally we like to take a full name and address, at least two easily contactable phone number (home, work and mobile) and these days email addresses are also very useful!
We will also add the unique chip number to our records and you take a copy home or your records.
If you move home and need to change your contact details there is a telephone number you can call and a website that allows you to change your details (much like with Datatag on push bikes and motorcycles or the V5 and driver’s license for your car)
What do I do if my cat becomes lost?
So how does the system spring into action on the (hopefully) rare occasion our pet takes an uncharacteristic but intrepid thirst for adventure and exploration into the big wild world?
Well, at the vets it is not unusual for lost souls, waifs and strays to come through our doors. When a lost and found pet is delivered to our door we first of all give them a check over for any sign of injury, then scan them for a microchip before getting them settled in a kennel with a bite to eat and drink. If there is a microchip present first, we check our own computer records, as likely as not they are usually one of ours! If we have the owner on record, we contact them directly and arrange a suitable home time. If we do not have records of the chip number at the practice, then we phone the database directly to report a missing
animal. The information you logged on the database is private and protected by the data protection act. Veterinary practices and registered local authority animal shelters are given a password that allows the database to give us your contact details so we can contact you directly. Private individuals that have scanned the animals number but have no password can report to the database that the animal is found but do not have access to your details, so the database then contacts you and relays the information between you and the person who has found your pet. It does not cost you to use the database if your pet is lost.
If your pet is lost and arrives at the vets and has no means of identification, we will try our best, through local knowledge, to find their home. Unfortunately, as a working practice we do not have facilities to keep lost and founds for any length of time as we need the space for our poorly patients. So, if no owner is found after 24hrs they will be sent to the local council authority animal shelter.
How to book an appointment
Please contact our friendly experienced team on 0191 385 9696, on our Facebook page, via our messenger cat at https://m.me.simplycatsvets or via our website https://www.simplycats.net/contact-us/ to book your appointment and ask any questions you may have.