Domestic cats and dogs may have to be vaccinated in the future against Covid-19 to protect people

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This is a quick note but one worth making nonetheless. I think I can predict that in the long term, perhaps in about 18 months to 2 years time, governments in various countries, perhaps predominantly in the West, will be thinking about vaccinating companion animals as a second phase protective measure against Covid-19.  This is because there is a concern amongst some scientists that animals may create a reservoir for mutant variants of the Covid-19 virus. As the virus is zoonotic it can theoretically and actually be transmitted from animals to people and this must apply also to companion animals. Danish mink farmer with white mink due to be euthanised. Photo per credit Perhaps because of the general panicked nature of governmental responses to the coronavirus pandemic, not enough work has been done on this aspect of the spread of the disease. In addition nobody wants to alarm anybody which may lead to companion animal abuse. In fact, in China, at the outset of the pandemic, there were

Agouti ticked cat coat

Here is a great close up photograph of an Agouti ticked cat coat on a wildcat, the Jaguarundi.

ticked cat coat
The "ticked" hairs of a Jaguarundi wildcat. This is a cropped images from a larger version, allowed under the Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic creative commons license. Photo by alumroot

If you look at the hair over the eyes (great wildcat wild look eyes) you can see the color at the first half of the hair (from the skin) is black. Then it is yellow and the tip is black again.

The black pigment is eumelanin. The yellow pigment is phaeomelanin. Melanin is a substance often seen in plant and animal life in which it primarily serves as providing pigment. For the technically minded eumelanin and pheomelanin are:

"a brown-black polymer of dihydroxyindole, dihydroxyindole carboxylic acid, and their reduced forms. Another common form of melanin is pheomelanin, a red-brown polymer of benzothiazine units largely responsible for red hair and freckles" (src: Wikipedia® published under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version - see Wikipedia® licensing below).

The agouti gene controls the way the pigmentation is deposited in the individual hair. Eumelanin is produced in cells called melanocytes. The agouti gene inhibits the production of eumelanin but less so in the case of pheomelanin.

The wild type A (dominant) gene causes the hair to be yellow at the base and black at the tip. This description seems to be partially contradict what we see in the hairs in the photograph where they are black-yellow-black. The basic principle is in place still, however (comments welcome).

The classic agouti ticked cat coat is the Abyssinian cats coat. Tabby cats have ticked hair and a pattern as well; either classic, stripes (mackerel) or spotted. A classic mackerel pattern can be seen on the Toyger cat. See cat coats tabby too if you like. See links to more coat types.

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Click on this link to see the Wikipedia® License src: Wikipedia® published under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version, November 2002 Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc. 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA - - no other conditions to the license are added.
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