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What is the Bio-Thermo microchip?

The Bio-Thermo microchip is a unique and patented passive radio-frequency identification (RFID) device, designed to work in conjunction with a compatible RFID microchip reader. The transponder consists of an electromagnetic coil and microchip with a built-in temperature biosensor, sealed in a bio-compatible glass enclosure. 

The Bio-Thermo microchip is primarily an identification device, with a pre-programmed identification number which remains unique and cannot be altered. It is compliant with ISO 11784 and 11785 and Bio-Thermo microchips can be read by any ISO-compliant microchip reader.

The Bio-Thermo microchip is similar in size to conventional identification microchips, measuring 13mm long, with a diameter of 2.12mm, delivered in a 12-gauge needle.

How does the Bio-Thermo microchip work?

The Bio-Thermo microchip works as an identification microchip in the same way as all other ISO pet microchips.  In addition, a temperature-sensing biosensor is stored in a specific part of the memory of the microchip (called the “Trailer”), as detailed in the drawing below.  This enables the Microchip Temperature and the identification number to be read simultaneously, using a specific reader such as the SureSense Microchip Reader.

Structure of an ISO-11784 compliant pet microchip “memory” 

The "Header" enables synchronisation with the microchip reader.

The "CRC" is a space allocated for enabling the microchip reader to detect any errors during the reading of the identification number stored.

The Bio-Thermo microchip enables measurement of a pet’s individual Microchip Temperature, with a temperature monitoring range between 33°C and 43°C.

What is Microchip Temperature?

When implanted in dogs and cats, identification microchips are inserted into the subcutaneous layer of tissue, either between the shoulder blades or on the left side of the neck.  Therefore Microchip Temperature measures an animal’s subcutaneous temperature, unlike rectal temperature, which measures core body temperature. 

UK microchip location

Fig 1: Subcutaneously on the dorsal midline, in front of the shoulder blades or scapula - Standard implantation site in all countries (including the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland) excluding Europe.

European microchip location

Fig. 2: Subcutaneously in the midway region of the left neck - Standard implantation site in Europe (excluding the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland).

How does Microchip Temperature compare to rectal temperature?

Traditionally rectal temperature has been the most common method of measuring body temperature in dogs and cats and is considered to be the gold standard, with reference values varying from 37.9°C to 39.9°C in dogs and from 38.1°C to 39.2°C in cats.

Microchip Temperature is not a replacement for rectal temperature, rather it is a measure which enables an animal’s individual temperature to be monitored more easily over time. 

Recent scientific publications have acknowledged that measuring rectal temperature can be stressful and invasive, eliciting defensive behaviour from the patient, both in dogs and cats.

Due to a microchip’s location, it is easier to take multiple temperature readings without causing any distress to an animal thus facilitating the monitoring of changes in a pet’s temperature over time.

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