Wednesday, 16th May 2012
Your pet's health
What is microchipping? How does it work?
Microchipping is the only way of permanently identifying your pet, meaning that they will always be identifiable as yours in the event that they are lost, wander off or are stolen. Unlike other means of identification such as ID tags, collars etc., a microchip is implanted under the skin of your pet, and it cannot be subsequently removed.
Each individual chip has a unique number, coded similarly to a barcode, which can be read by a handheld microchip scanner. This number is kept on record on a central data base, where it is linked to the owner's name, address and contact details. If a stray dog or cat turns up in a veterinary clinic, animal rescue shelter or pound, the microchip can be scanned and the database accessed using an authorised password, enabling the pet to be quickly reunited with their owner.
The microchip itself is only the size of a grain of rice and is injected under the skin at the back of the animals neck by your vet. This can be done during any routine consultation as it only takes a few seconds to implant, and does not require sedation or pain relief. The procedure itself is no more painful than having a normal injection, e.g. a regular vaccination shot. The microchip is completely harmless, and the animal is unaware of its presence. It will remain in place for the lifetime of your pet.
Microchipping is essential if you want your pet to be traceable in the unfortunate event that he or she is separated from home for any reason. Pedigree dogs that are registered with the Irish Kennel Club must be microchipped prior to registration as puppies. It is also a mandatory requirement if you want your pet to travel abroad with you, as you will need it to apply for a pet passport. For more information on the pet travel scheme (PETS), check out the Irish Department of Agriculture website (www.agriculture.gov.ie/pets/).
In recent times, there have been many incidents involving the theft of pets, regardless of whether they are pedigrees or cross breeds. Dogs that are not neutered are especially at risk, as they are often stolen to be used for breeding in "puppy farm" situations. I have also found microchips to be invaluable in situations where there was a dispute over who was the rightful owner of an animal.
Contact your vet if you require further information about microchipping your pet.
Aries: March 21 – April 20
Situations around you point to a more volatile emotional climate, so whatever circumstances you find yourself in, don't expect things to be quite as straightforward as you might have wished. This need not mean that things are negative, quite the contrary in fact, it is just that nothing should be taken for granted. Remember that you are not an endless river of energy, and that every now and then, you need to be still and renew your energy flow.
Taurus: April 21 – May 21
Financially this could be a moment where living on your wits, and just about staying ahead of the game is not tenable any more and just possibly a way is found for you to catch up with things on a slightly longer term basis. News from overseas makes you feel a little wistful, and perhaps gets you checking passports and flight schedules. Somebody could be making your life un-necessarily complicated - perhaps it is time to think about drawing a line in the sand.
Gemini: May 22 – June 21
Health issues need to be at the forefront of your thinking this week. Sometimes, when we seem to be going along on adrenaline alone, iwhen we stop that we become aware of the aches and pains that have been ignored. But now though, doing nothing should not be an option. If you are a parent of a teenager, you might be called upon to arbitrate between two sides of a relatively minor dispute – without taking sides yourself.
Cancer: June 22 – July 22
An answer to a question you have been asking for some time now, seems to be on the verge of being manifested. It might not have been the answer you were hoping for, but at least you now know where you are and, more than anything, you now know what needs to be done about it. You might anticipate slightly better news about a job interview – does not mean that you are going to get it – but rather that your faith in your own abilities is restored.
Leo: July 23 – August 23
Recently challenging events in your life have, or should have been, dealt with. And now it would be good for there to be a sense of freedom around you – a moment wherein you can look at your life situation and finally decide what needs to be done to make it fit your dream of it. Maybe find time, now that May has become a reality, to smell the new flowers that are pushing their heads up to turn our world into a rainbow.
Virgo: August 24 – Sep 23
Something that has been almost agonisingly beyond reach for ages now, seems to be coming closer and closer. When it arrives you will be inspired to de-clutter and clear many things, and issues, from your life. Then perhaps when all is done and dusted, you will, at last, discover, no matter what age, or stage of life you are at, exactly what you want to be when you grow up. A recent experience will have created a buzz around you that is almost electric in its intensity.
Libra: Sept 24th - Oct 23
Financial issues occupy you this week, and the suspicion is, that as soon as one matter is dealt with, then something else comes riding over your fiscal horizon. Fortunately, there appears to be solutions, albeit temporary, to these difficulties. But it really seems to be one of those 'in one hand, and out of the other' moments and no amount of me, or other folk saying "We are all in the same boat" actually butters any parsnips. It is really down to you, knowing that makes you stronger.
Scorpio: Oct 24 - Nov 22
This could be a good week for a group of people led, or possibly inspired, by one of our Scorpion readers, to enter a contest of some sort. When it comes to love there is a sense of lightning striking in the same place twice as a separated couple might get back together again. Don't expect perfection this time either, but maybe approach your individual imperfections a little more charitably. If you are a god-parent, then this could be a moment to step into the breach.
Sagittarius: Nov 23 - Dec 21st
You feel, in spite of all the doom and gloom that surrounds us these days, surprisingly upbeat and confident about your life. Is it because you have, at last, taken your fate back into your own hands and, by so doing, become the person you were born to be? Somebody said once – that a brave new world is only as brave as the people within it – perhaps you will now show the courage of your convictions and find a fitting place in your new world.
Capricorn: Dec 22 - Jan 21
Another busy week for you; lots of work to do and your social life takes off again. Something though, seems to be shifting in the deeper undergrowth of your life that tells you, as Spring bursts into a kaleidoscope of colour, that things are about to change. Something opens up with the new flowers, possibly new areas of creativity or study. Perhaps thoughts of emigration too, are beginning to stir in a youthful mind – and the older amongst us wonder again what is being done to the children of this state.
Aquarius: Jan 22 - Feb 19th
An opportunity at work could relieve certain financial pressures at home. But you too, need to be aware of this being just a small upward blip on the graph of your monetary year, and there is the realisation that you need more than a temporary solution to what appears to be a semi-permanent problem. How long, you ask yourself, must we be patient while the financial gurus tinker around the edges of the problems? Maybe the end of Summer will see your personal improvement manifest itself?
Pisces: Feb 20 - March 20
Be independent of mind and deed as you go through this week, where silken voices of temptation assail you from odd corners of your life, and where you will need to be able to justify everything you do or say with the knowledge that emerges from within you, and not from your need to be loved, liked, or accepted by anyone. It might also be a moment to grasp the nettles of the problems that have been floating around you for too long now – and start to deal with the organ grinders rather than their monkeys.
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Google AlertWhen a company which has it's European Headquarters here in Ireland is called 'evil' and 'immoral' by M.P.s in The House of Commons you tend to sit up and take notice. The particular company that was being referred to was Google and the reason it had enraged M.P.s in London was because even though it has a big operation there and conducts a lot of business there it pays no corporate tax. It does this by having all of its financial transactions finished here in Ireland. And the company here is …
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