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Watch out for Migrating Chips in your Pets

So, migrating chips are a thing. I had no idea until a recent trip to the vet. All of our pets are micro-chipped, and we usually never give it another thought after it’s done.

I guess it’s pretty rare, but the chips can move and end up in a place that’s more difficult to scan.

The grump with text that says "my microchip migrated. Check your pets!"

For a while now, I have noticed a small, hard line when I pet The Grump. It’s right above his left front leg and never seemed to bother him, but I always mean to ask the vet about it. I assumed it was nothing but worth an ask during a routine visit.

During our last trip for a nail trim and a chin acne flare-up (yep, The Grump has acne), I asked our vet about it.

She was a bit surprised when she felt it and knew right away that it was a microchip. Since the chips are originally embedded between their shoulder-blades, this was quite the migration. She took her chip scanner to confirm that this was definitely the case.

Why are Migrating Chips a Problem?

Migrating chips are not the end of the world, however it can make the chip more difficult to find when scanning.

Our vet demonstrated to me how scanning is normally done. It’s a quick swipe over the dog’s back area.

Most shelters and places where lost pets are taken are super busy. They might not take the time to scan the entire dog. They swoop over where the chip is supposed to be and if nothing pops up, they assume the dog is not chipped.

The Grump's back showing where the microchip should be.

Heaven forbid your animal goes missing, you want that microchip info to pop up immediately. Our vet simply inserted another chip into The Grump free of charge.

A little local anesthetic and a quick injection and he now has a new microchip in the proper location. I had to call the chip company to let them know, and tell them that he now has two chips, but this was definitely an easy problem to fix.

Sleeping Grump.

The other chip that migrated is harmless according to our vet. It can just remain where it is without any issues.

I wanted to share this info because it’s something I would have never thought of had it not happened to us. Next time you are at your vet just have them do a quick scan to make sure the chip pops up.

Apparently, this is a pretty rare occurrence. It’s more likely in pets that have loose skin like, The Grump.

Have you ever heard of migrating chips in pets?

Tina Bornheimer

Tuesday 30th of December 2014

I had heard that the chips would fail, but never heard of them migrating! I will definitely have to make sure to have my dog's checked when she get's her teeth cleaned next week. I also have never heard of a breeder not recommending getting a dog micro chipped. Matter of fact it is usually in the paper work to make sure it is done. Wow. I will always get my dog chipped... especially in case of my dog went missing I would want to be able to have my dog returned to me!!! Without the chip... well you are kind of without a way to get your dog back. There is a case of a missing dog now and he is not chipped and if someone does happen to have him.. well the owner can't prove it's her dog.. no chip. We are dealing with that issue now. Sorry to say... but chip you dog if you love your dog!

Julie Wood

Thursday 20th of November 2014

Thank you for telling me about this because I did not know that chips can migrate in a dog. I would think that this is not a good idea to have it movie from its original location. I will keep an eye on my pet to make sure it does not migrate.

Kathleen Bailey

Thursday 13th of November 2014

Wow I had no idea. My last dog was microchipped but not our current one. What a scary thought!

sandy weinstein

Tuesday 11th of November 2014

this is the reason i have not microchipped my 2 younger girls in addition my dog breeder is against it. my oldest 13.5 is chipped. i also have a problem, b/c not all readers read the chips...some are universal but some are dog breeder sold a dog that someone had chipped and the chip migrated and the dog died.


Wednesday 12th of November 2014

Wow, Sandy, that is horrifying! Where did the chip end up that it caused death? :( So scary!!

Cindy B

Monday 10th of November 2014

Wow! I had no idea this could happen. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

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