MSD Animal Health has launched HomeAgain Thermochip, a new identification microchip which incorporates a temperature biosensor which measures the cat or dog's subcutaneous temperature.

MSD says the new chip is compliant with ISO standards, has proven temperature accuracy1 and as yet is the only microchip on the market that combines identification and temperature monitoring.

The HomeAgain Thermochip has been designed to work for the lifetime of the pet, and it's being launched alongside the HomeAgain Pet Recovery Database, which is free of charge.

Michael Morrow BSc BVSc MRCVS, Director of St Vincents Veterinary Surgery in Wokingham, has been involved in trials of the new chip. He said: ''The launch of HomeAgain Thermochip is a real game-changer in the market.  

“We have been trialling the Thermochip for some time and it’s now our default option to measure temperature.

"It’s incredibly useful in everyday practice, particularly when it comes to fractious cats or extremely nervous dogs, and it improves efficiency in consultations.

"We also use the Thermochip extensively during anaesthetic and post operative monitoring – with minimal handling.

“Reassuringly, we’ve never had any issues with the microchip reader or with the chip migrating to other parts of an animal’s body so it’s very reliable.” 

In addition to the benefit of being able to measure temperature in a non-invasive way, MSD points to recent studies which suggest that a pet’s ‘normal’ temperature is not a specific number, rather a range of values that depend on numerous factors such as the time of day, the site of measurement, sex, breed, size, age, activity and stress levels2.

The HomeAgain Thermochip makes it easier to take multiple temperature readings easily over time, thereby establishing a pet’s individual temperature range.

For animal identification, the microchip works in much the same way as other microchips. 

Once the owner registers their pet’s microchip with a recovery database, their animal – in theory – can be traced if lost.

The reality is often different, because owners' contact details are frequently out of date, making it difficult to reunite pets. 

MSD says it aims to have the most comprehensive reunification platform, with a database which:

  • is free (including registration, transfer of keepership and updates on contact details)
  • comes with 24/7 UK-based support to help owners locate their pet if they go missing
  • provides regular prompts to encourage owners to keep their contact details up-to-date
  • allows multiple contacts to be registered against a microchip
  • Does not share data with third parties.

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  1. An independent laboratory study was conducted to evaluate the accuracy of the temperature-sensing identification microchip. The trial collated the microchip temperature values from 10 HomeAgain Thermochips and from 4 thermometers of different brands. Temperature values were collected at every 0.5 °C between 33 °C and 43 °C. Similar temperature values were recorded, with a difference range varying between 0.00 °C to 0.18 °C.
  2. Bragg RF et al. (2015). Evaluation of the effects of hospital visit stress on physiologic variables in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc;246:212–15;
    Piccione G et al. (2010). The daily rhythm of body temperature, heart and respiratory rate in new born dogs.
    J Comp Physiol;180:895–904;
    Piccione G et al. (2011). Association between obesity and reduced body temperature in dogs. Int J Obes;35:1011–18;
    Ready AE & Morgan G. (1984). The physiological response of Siberian Husky dogs to exercise: effect of interval training. Can Vet J;25:86–91;
    Refinett R & Piccione G. (2003). Daily rhythmicity of body temperature in the dog. J Vet Med Sci;65:935–37

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