Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Microchipping

Contributor(s): Sarah Brown, Mark Naguib

Introduction

  • Microchipping provides a method of permanent identification of individual animals. This is useful for pet reptiles that may stray or be stolen.
  • It is required to obtain an Article 10 certificate for animals over 60 mm in length included in Appendix A of the EU implementation of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) that are to be sold or exchanged, are on public display, or whose progeny are being sold or exchanged. Note that under the EU implementation of CITES, Annex A includes species from both CITES Appendices 1 and 2.
  • In veterinary practice in the UK, this generally applies to all Mediterranean tortoise species other than A. horsfieldi.
  • See www.cites.org and www.defra.gov.uk for further information as specific conditions relating to the age, size and species of reptile will apply to local CITES legislation and may vary with time.

Uses

  • Permanent identification of individual reptiles.
  • Useful for proving ownership in cases of straying or theft, and a legal requirement for trade, public display and breeding for trade in certain species.

Advantages

  • A permanent method of identification which is difficult to tamper with.

Disadvantages

  • Potential for chip loss due to inelasticity of reptilian skin (less likely if tissue glue or sutures are used post-implantation).
  • Potential for bleeding and infection (although relatively unusual).

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Excellent if adequate aseptic skin preparation carried out and appropriate skin closure performed.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Chitty J & Raftery A (2013) Microchipping. In: Essentials of Tortoise Medicine and Surgery. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 108-111.
  • WSAVA (2012) Microchip Identification Guidelines. Website: www.wsava.org  Last accessed 23rd July 2018.
  • McArthur S J & Hernandez-Divers S (2004) Surgery. In: Medicine and Surgery of Tortoises and Turtles. Eds: McArthur S J, Wilkinson R & Meyer J et al. Blackwell Publishing, UK. pp 457-460.
  • British Veterinary Zoological Society. BVZS Guidelines for Microchip Transponder Sites. Website: www.bvzs.org. Last accessed 23rd July 2018.

Organisation(s)

  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Website: www.cites.org.
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Website: www.defra.gov.uk.


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