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Open AccessArticle

Identification of Microchip Implantation Events for Dogs and Cats in the VetCompass Australia Database

1
Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
2
Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030, Australia
3
School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
4
Child Health Research Centre, University of Queensland, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia
5
School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Adelaide, Roseworthy, SA 5371, Australia
6
School of Animal and Veterinary Science, Charles Sturt University, Sutherland Laboratories, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia
7
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
8
College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Science, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(7), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9070423
Received: 5 June 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 5 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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PDF [619 KB, uploaded 5 July 2019]
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Simple Summary

The implantation of a microchip can maximise an animal’s chance of being returned to its owners, if separated, but is also a statutory requirement for companion animal owners in many jurisdictions across Australia. This study of the electronic patient records of 1000 randomly selected dogs and cats in the VetCompass Australia database revealed that the median age at microchip implantation was 74.4 days for individual dogs and 127.0 days for individual cats. Further exploration into the reasons for later microchipping in cats may be useful in aligning common practice with legislative requirements.

Abstract

In Australia, compulsory microchipping legislation requires that animals are microchipped before sale or prior to 3 months in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, and by 6 months in Western Australia and Tasmania. Describing the implementation of microchipping in animals allows the data guardians to identify individual animals presenting to differing veterinary practices over their lifetimes, and to evaluate compliance with legislation. VetCompass Australia (VCA) collates electronic patient records from primary care veterinary practices into a database for epidemiological studies. VCA is the largest companion animal clinical data repository of its kind in Australia, and is therefore the ideal resource to analyse microchip data as a permanent unique identifier of an animal. The current study examined the free-text ‘examination record’ field in the electronic patient records of 1000 randomly selected dogs and cats in the VCA database. This field may allow identification of the date of microchip implantation, enabling comparison with other date fields in the database, such as date of birth. The study revealed that the median age at implantation for dogs presented as individual patients, rather than among litters, was 74.4 days, significantly lower than for cats (127.0 days, p = 0.003). Further exploration into reasons for later microchipping in cats may be useful in aligning common practice with legislative requirements. View Full-Text
Keywords: cats; dogs; microchip; strays; VetCompass Australia cats; dogs; microchip; strays; VetCompass Australia
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

McGreevy, P.; Masters, S.; Richards, L.; Soares Magalhaes, R.J.; Peaston, A.; Combs, M.; Irwin, P.J.; Lloyd, J.; Croton, C.; Wylie, C.; Wilson, B. Identification of Microchip Implantation Events for Dogs and Cats in the VetCompass Australia Database. Animals 2019, 9, 423.

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