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FAQ Scanners

What is the difference between a universal scanner and the standard scanners?

Many scanners available in the UK will only read microchips that are ISO compliant (the 15-digit FDX-B), some may also be able to read the 10-digit FDX-A Destron/FECAVA microchips. Our Halo and PetScan scanners read both FDX-B and FDX-A microchips. However, some microchips commonly present in animals implanted in the USA, notable examples being the Trovan Unique, and AVID Encryped (Friendchip) will not be read by these scanners - our Universal Scanner reads ALL known microchip protocols for pets including those from the USA and encrypted microchips. It is an essential tool for customs officers, vets, rescues and welfare organisations that may be scanning imported dogs. For a more robust option, many zoos choose our ARE H5 scanner which is a heavy duty scanner with a long read range, it will read FDX-B and A microchips, as well as Trovan Unique, but will NOT read the AVID encrypted (Friendchip).

Can I buy a scanner – I’m not an implanter or a vet?

Yes. For pet owners who wish to check their pet's microchip on a regular basis the Halo scanner or PetScan would be ideal. Any pet owners who may be travelling from America or parts of Australia may have Trovan Unique or Avid Encrypted microchips implanted in their animals - these microchips may not be read by the ISO compliant scanners carried by the vast majority of customs staff, leading to problems. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the owner to bring a scanner along that can read their pet's microchip - our pocket sized Universal Scanner can read all types of implantable microchips found in companion animals.

What read distance do pocket scanners have?

Read distances depend on a great variety of factors - see How do scanners work? As a general rule pocket scanners have a read distance of anywhere between 3 and 8cm. Correct scanning technique is essential in successful scanning, for more information see our Scanning effectively page.

Do you sell a scanner suitable for scanning horses or sheep?

We sell a couple of scanners that are ideal for reading a microchip implanted in a horse – try the PetScan. The PetScan will read FDX-B and A microchips. This convenient pocket scanner is good for scanning livestock as well as riding saddles. For a more robust option, the ARE H5 scanner is a heavy duty scanner with a long read range which can be supplied on special order.

Do you sell bespoke scanners?

Yes! We supply all sorts of scanners for bespoke applications – we supply rescues with long-handled scanners, plus lots of zoos in the UK including for underwater projects such as fish, oysters and coral. If you have a query just contact us - 01962 813 554.

My scanner does not work as well as it used to – do you have any suggestions?

Yes. Ensure the battery is fully charged and holding charge properly, for battery operated scanners change the 9-volt battery. If changing the battery only alkaline batteries are to be used never zinc. Freezing and damp conditions as well as operating a scanner close to computers and TV's may affect their ability to function correctly. Scanners have a one-year warranty but in our experience they last a lot longer than that. However, if your scanner is older and is acting up intermittently then it may be time to replace it.

I want to buy your scanner but I live in Europe – what is the postage?

We are happy to supply to foreign countries but please email us or contact us on 01962 813 554 and we will make enquiries and quote you the postage and packing. All international orders are sent on a tracked and signed service.