Special-needs pets can be wonderful companions, but they face a special danger if they run away. If the pet needs medication or has a chronic condition that could result in injury to the pet if not handled correctly, a runaway scenario is not something you, the owner, ever want to face. Pets can't speak and let whoever finds them know what they need, so you have to do what you can to link your pet's medical needs with other information about the pet.
Engraved Medical Alert Tags
For chronic problems, one of the easiest methods of linking your pet's medical info with other information is an engraved tag. Have the medical condition and treatments engraved on a tag that sits on the pet's collar along with the regular ID tag. If your pet has a temporary condition that requires medication, physical therapy, or any other short-term treatment, ask your vet about attaching a temporary paper tag that sits inside a plastic sleeve, almost like one of those keychains where you can write down what the key is for. Don't attach anything without running it past the vet first, though, as you want to avoid attaching anything that could fall off or be pulled off by the pet's paw.
Local Vet Hospital Record Sharing
Ask your vet and the pet hospital that you go to if they share records with other vet offices and hospitals in the region when a pet is listed as missing. Notifying other offices that a pet matching X description is missing and has Y medical problems enables those vets and hospitals to treat the pet correctly if it is found and brought to one of those offices.
Currently, you can't load your pet's medical history onto the microchip in its body; all someone with a chip reader will see is an ID number that matches contact information in a registry. However, some chip companies allow you to add the medical history to the pet's registration record. So the chip reader will pick up the ID number only, but once the vet finds the registration information, he or she could also see all the medical information. Again, this is possible with some registries, but not all.
Meet with your vet to discuss the best option for your pet. You want your fur-child to stay healthy and safe even if it runs away, so you need to find a way to keep information about its medical needs accessible to those who find the pet.