Veterinary experts are saying that pets can be infected with the alpha type of the Covid-19 virus. This can cause cardiac issues in animals, according to the Daily Mail.
Researchers at the Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre in Marlow, UK, discovered four cases of the alpha variant in cats. And two cases in domestic dogs. The alpha version, also known as the ‘UK’ or ‘Kent’ variety and lineage B.1.1.7. This variant is seen in November in the southeast of England, for the first time. As a result of its greater transmissibility and infectivity, it quickly outcompeted the country’s pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 subtypes.
The variation is seen in two of the cats and one of the dogs after a positive PCR test. Antibodies against it are seen in the other three creatures after two to six weeks.
They all had severe myocarditis, which is an infection of the heart muscle. According to the findings, several of these dogs’ owners had suffered respiratory symptoms and tested positive for Covid-19 three to six weeks before their animals fell ill.
Luca Ferasin’s Opinion on the Study on Pets
The paper’s author and veterinary cardiologist, Luca Ferasin, from The Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre, remarked. Our study describes the first cases of cats and dogs impacted by the Covid-19 alpha variant.
The findings, he added, emphasize the potential of SARS-CoV-2 infection in companion animals more than before. We also discovered uncommon clinical signs characterized by significant cardiac abnormalities, Ferasin added. Despite these cases of pets catching the alpha version. Ferasin points out that “Covid-19 infection in pets is still a pretty unusual illness. Based on our data, it appears that transmission occurs from people to pets, rather than vice versa. He concluded, according to the newspaper.