FAQs: Microchipping Your Equine

Microchips have been popular with cats and dogs for decades, but did you know that they are also becoming popular with horses, donkeys and mules as well? In fact, they are even required in some states like Louisiana. Microchipping is an inexpensive and permanent method of identification and can help reunite horses with their owners in case they get lost.

With the increasing popularity of microchipping equines, you might wonder if a microchip is right for you and your equine. To give you the  information you need to make that decision, here are some commonly asked questions our experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) have received:

Will it hurt my horse?

No! The microchips are the same size as the ones used for dogs and cats and are about the size of a grain of rice. Implantation is quick and no anethesia is required.

Are there any special considerations for my pet immediately after a microchip is implanted?

We recommend that your equine not be bathed, groomed, petted (in the area of microchip implantation), tacked up or receive injections in the neck for the first 24 hours post-implantation.

Do I need a special horse scanner to read the microchips?

Nope! The same microchip is used in most animals, including horses or donkeys, so as long as you have a scanner that detects both 125 kHz and 134.2 kHz chips, you are all set to scan equines!

Can the microchip number be changed or tampered with?

Microchips are permanent identification because they can’t be altered. The microchip number is encoded into the microchip when it is manufactured. Once the microchip is implanted under the skin it cannot be tampered with. 

You can also talk to your veterinarian to get more information on microchipping your equine! 

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