Microchip Alert!

Desexing and microchipping is about to be mandatory for pet registration!

I mentioned in an update last month that dog and cat registration is about to change in South Australia. Amongst other changes, purchasers of any new puppy or kitten will be obliged to desex their pet within the first month after taking ownership. Microchips should be implanted at ‘point of purchase’, which is already being done by all purebred breeders.


Microchips will be required for all pets, young or old.

Whilst the desexing requirement only applies to pets born after July 1st this year, microchipping will be required for all pets, young or old. Pet owners will need to provide microchip details at the time of annual registration renewal. From this year onwards, this will be done online through the new ‘Dogs and Cats Online’ website.


There are pros and cons to the new laws

I’d have to say that these new regulations have triggered some fairly vigorous discussion amongst the veterinary community of South Australia. The general consensus is, however, that there are good and bad aspects to the changes.


There are some genuine concerns over the effects on young pets of ‘Early Age Desexing’ – under 4 months of age. For example, some disease processes, such as arthritis and urinary incontinence, are more likely to occur.


On the other hand, mammary cancer is basically non-existent in dogs that are desexed before their first season. For many years, we’ve been advising owners to desex at six months of age. Nothing has changed our opinion on this.


Although it may be a nuisance for you to do, microchips are actually a great idea.

I think most of us agree that microchipping is a really good idea. We see many cases of lost pets being re-united with their owners because of the information embedded in a microchip. I’ve even seen a happy re-union occurring several years after an owner had completely given up hope of ever seeing her dog again!


Upcoming scheduled health checks are a great time to microchip your pets.

This brings me to the point of this article. Over the next few months, we’ll be seeing many of you for routine visits with your pets. This would be a great opportunity to check whether your pet has a functional microchip. If not, we can implant one for you and save you an extra trip when it comes time for registration.


If you don’t know, we can scan your pet for a chip.

If you’re unsure, ask us to scan your pet to see if there is a microchip present. Mind you, we’ll run a quick scan anyway, as there have been incidences of microchips failing or migrating away from where it was initially implanted. If this is the case, we should put in a new one.


If you don’t have a routine health check scheduled, call us on 8522 3500 to make an appointment. Our fantastic nurses are able to implant microchips and it won’t cost you any extra. The chip costs $66 and should last the lifetime of your pet. Great value for a lot of peace of mind (added bonus of keeping the government happy!)!!

Picture of Anne Crouch

Anne Crouch

3 thoughts on “Microchip Alert!”

  1. I have bred Purebred Shih Tzu for the last 35 years on and off – and am really concerned about the new de-sexing laws at such a young age and wonder if OSS should be the norm to enhance their growing years – I realise that not many vets do this spey ??? Also a vasectomy for males??

    • Hi Ngaire
      Apologies, thought I’d replied to this already but appears not! I agree that early desexing is a concern, particularly for breeders who wish to sterilise their pups prior to sale to new owners. For a number of years, we’ve been offering tubal ligations and vasectomies as an alternative although we still recommend full desexing once the pups have matured a bit more. I’d be happy to chat to you about this if you’d like. Give me a call on 8522 3500. Kind regards, Dave MacPhail

  2. Hi Ngaire – sorry about v slow reply to this. I think you’re absolutely right to be concerned about this, just as we are. For some years, we’ve been offering ‘tubal ligations’ and vasectomies as an alternative to early desexing. I think this is particularly valid for breeders where pre-sale sterilisation of some form is an important part of maintaining bloodlines (no accidental matings). By all means, I’d be happy to talk to you about this. Kind regards, Dave MacPhail


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