A nucleotide variability in the sequence of the gene encoding for the transmembrane protein M of canine coronavirus (CCV) is described. A total of 177 faecal samples from pups with enteritis were analysed by a PCR and n-PCR specific for CCV. Four samples, collected from a dog presenting a long-duration shedding of CCV, and a sample from another diarrhoeic dog, were found positive by PCR but negative by n-PCR. Sequence analysis of the samples revealed silent nucleotide substitutions in the binding site of the internal primer used for the n-PCR. Moreover, the nucleotide substitutions occurring over the whole fragment of the five samples analysed were similar.