Hello and welcome to another edition of Simon Says! Today we are talking about microchips- what are they, how do they work, and why are they important?

What Is a Microchip,  Anyways?

Microchips are tiny little computer chips that are enclosed inside an inert glass. They are about the size of as grain of rice- small enough to fit inside a needle! This chip has a unique number programmed into it. When the chip is scanned with a special microchip reader, that number is sent to the reader via a radio signal. The number can then be matched to a database identifying your pet and giving contact information to reach you.

Because microchips are so small, they just have room on them for that identification number. There are no batteries or moving parts. Microchips are strictly used for identification purposes- there’s no active emission telling where your pet is.

Why Should You Microchip?Simon Microchip

There are countless stories of pets being united months or even years later with their owners after being scanned for a microchip. Cats can sneak out when a visitor comes in the door, dogs can break a leash or jump a fence. Unlike collars, microchips are permanent and can’t be lost or destroyed. They will always connect you to your pet! If your pet is found loose, a microchip can save their life, as scanning for a microchip is the first thing an animal shelter will do when picking up a stray pet.

When Should You Microchip?

The short answer is, as soon as possible! Puppies and kittens can be microchipped as young as 6 weeks of age and any size pet can have one. Microchips feel about the same as any other shot and have nothing that will burn or irritate the tissue. They are implanted with a needle in just a few seconds and don’t require sedation.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

Two things: whenever you move (or get a new phone number), make sure you contact the registry your microchip is made by to change your information. The second thing to know is this: we think microchipping is very important, and because of that, we are offering a discount for the entire month of May! Give us a call at 256-881-2482 to schedule your appointment today.

Employee Spotlight: Dr. Shelby Agnew

It’s time for another employee spotlight! We want you to meet Dr. Agnew, a fairly recent addition to our hospital, but a much loved and appreciated one.

Dr. Agnew 2

What is your position at McCurdy Animal Hospital?

I’m the new associate veterinarian!

What is your favorite part of working here?

Honestly, all of the people. I really love my coworkers and my clients. People think we go into veterinary medicine because we like animals more than people but in all reality, we wouldn’t have any patients without the wonderful, caring owners at the other end of the leash. I adore getting to see dogs and cats every day, but I really love partnering with clients to help them keep their pets healthy.

How many pets do you have?

I have three wonderful dogs, all girls- Stella, Joule, and Herriot. Stella and Joule are beagles, and Herriot is a “wonder dog”- we often wonder exactly what she is, but we think she is a malamute mix.

What is your favorite indoor/outdoor activity and why?

I have recently taken up running and I LOVE it. I was never very athletic growing up (I’m still not), but I really enjoy running because it’s so accessible- all you need are your feet and a pair of sneakers.

What is your favorite month of the year and why?

This sounds very cliché, but I love the month of October when the weather is starting to get just a bit crisp. I love watching Auburn football and going to corn mazes and fall festivals.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

I’m sure I’m going to make Dr. O’Reilly blush with this answer, but it would be him. I have learned so much from him in just the past few months and I can’t wait to keep learning from him!

What is your absolute favorite food?

I actually have a cartoon on my wall that says “my favorite food is whatever you’re eating.” It’s a shameful habit, but it’s so true! Any time my coworkers pull out a snack, I am all over it.

What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry?

This is super embarrassing, but I read the Harry Potter series at least twice a year (and have since college), and I cry EVERY TIME someone dies in those books (spoiler alert: a lot of people die). J.K. Rowling is so good at making you get attached to even minor characters that it’s hard not to feel something when she kills them off.

What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

I used to slide down the staircase banisters at my high school every day, and I got caught at least once a week! My teachers would always get onto me, but eventually I think they just gave up and decided I would stop when I got hurt (… and I did!).

Where is Waldo?

I don’t know. I heard he wears stripes because he doesn’t want to be spotted!