Recommended Implant Sites
(prepared by Dr F Nind for ISO WG3)
Canine and Feline:
To comply with international standards, the microchip is implanted subcutaneously between the shoulder blades. All vets, SPCAs and Welfare Societies are requested to adhere to this. Scanning however should still be done on the left hand side of the neck as well as between the shoulder blades.
There are two recognized implantation sites currently in use:
- Recommended implant site in all countries except Australia :
The microchip is implanted within the nuchal ligament in its middle third or at the halfway point between the ears and the
The microchip is implanted in the musculature of the left neck or the anterior injection triangle. Clipping of the hair, local
anaesthetic and aseptic technique is required.
The implantation site for bovine, ovine, porcine, caprine and/or other species used for meat production is subcutaneously at the base of the left ear on the scutiform cartilage or alternatively under the tail.
Subcutaneously on the left side of the tail in the main caudal fold.
Hyrax and Loris:
Subcutaneously on the left side of the intra lumbar area.
Alpacas: (as per Australia)
Subcutaneously midway on the left neck or top of the head behind left ear
If the adult distance >17cm from the backbone (spine) to the shoulder blade, then the implant site is subcutaneously at the base of the left ear. If <17cm then the implant site is subcutaneously between the shoulder blades.
The microchip is to be implanted into the lymphatic cavity.
The implantation site should be sealed with tissue glue.
Left hind limb socket. Use a subcutaneous site in small Chelonia and an intramuscular technique in large species as well as small species with thin skin. The implant site should be sealed with tissue glue.
Hibernating species should be implanted several weeks before the end of their active season in order to allow healing before hibernation.
Subcutaneously anterior to the nuchal cluster.
>12.5 cm snout to vent length: subcutaneously in the left inguinal region.
<12.5 cm snout to vent length: intracoelomic. Snakes:
There are two possible implant sites:
1. Subcutaneously on the left side of the neck, twice the length of the head from the tip of the nose.
2. Subcutaneously into the muscle on the dorsal aspect of the tail.
Note: Due to size of the implanter needle (4mm), and the possibility of injury to the reptile, it is recommended that snakes below 13mm in diameter not be microchipped. For these reptiles (eg twig snakes),dispensation not to implant a microchip should be applied.
> 1.5 kg adult weight and/or long-legged: subcutaneously at the base of the neck.
< 1.5 kg adult weight: intramuscularly in the left pectoral muscle. Direct the implanter in the caudal (downward) direction. Use tissue glue and digital pressure or suture to seal the implantation site. Exceptions to the above:
Up to four days old – implanted in the piping muscle behind the head on the left.
Older birds – subcutaneously at back of head (not subcutaneously in left thigh as ostrich are commonly used as food
>30 cm in length: on the left side at the anterior base of the dorsal fin.
<30 cm in length: on the left side into the coelomic cavity