A giant poodle in Madrid has become the first dog in Spain to test positive for the British variant of coronavirus, vets said.
The 14-year-old pet remained asymptomatic but was found to test positive in a survey being carried out across the country by the Veterinary Health Surveillance Centre at the Complutense University of Madrid.
It was discovered from a nasal swab that the dog carried up to 12 genetic mutations of the Covid-19 spike protein; nine were characteristic of the variant first discovered in Kent, known as B117.
The study has revealed coronavirus is less common in pets than humans and almost always passed to an animal from an infected owner or carer. Around 95% of dogs and cats studied were infected this way and the majority did not display symptoms.
The university research has examined around 800 cats and dogs to date, along with nearly 100 ferrets, 24 lynx, and a wild mink.
In Russia pets are being vaccinated against coronavirus, according to the country’s agricultural safety regulator after the country developed vaccine Carnivac-Cov.
Billed as the world’s first and to date only vaccine for animals, all animals given the shot developed antibodies to coronavirus.