Best practice ensures the most consistent results.
It is extremely important for any scanner operator to know how to properly scan for a microchip, and is aware of how scanners work, and their limitations. For more information see our page on How does a microchip scanner work? In order to properly assess whether an animal has a microchip we recommend the technique discussed on this page. Microchips that have been incorrectly implanted have been documented to migrate to many different areas, so correct and thorough scanning every time is crucial to ensure animals are not implanted with more than one microchip or deemed strays and rehomed when this is not the case.
Microchips implanted in companion animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets are placed under the skin in the midline directly between the shoulder blades. As such, this area should be scanned in the first instance (Zone A).
Microchips may migrate if implanted in an incorrect location in the first instance, therefore it is most important before microchipping any animal that you also scan Zone B and Zone C as these are common areas of migration. Microchips that have been incorrectly implanted in the scruff are likely to migrate around the neck and onto the front of the shoulders or chest. Microchips wrongly implanted over the side of either shoulder (instead of inbetween) are likely to migrate down either respective leg, so it is important that these areas are thoroughly checked. Finally, Zone D – (the rest of the body) should be scanned.