Chicago Urban Pets had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Natalie Marks with the Blum Animal Hospital and asked her questions about how to best handle the canine influenza when owning a dog or being a pet sitter in Chicago.
1. Why is the influenza in Chicago specifically?
The original strain of the dog flu, H3N8 has been present in the United States since 2003. However, in 2015 a new strain of the dog flu (also known as canine influenza H3N2), emerged and caused outbreaks in half of all U.S. states, including Chicago, IL. This strain is highly contagious and spreads quickly. Because H3N2 is a new strain, virtually all dogs have no natural immunity to the virus and are susceptible to infection.
2. How is the influenza spread from one dog to another?
3. As a petsitter, how likely is it we are spreading it from one household to another?
4. What type of precautions should we take?
5. Can animals other than dogs get sick too?
7. What should a dog owner do if they think their dog has the influenza?
8. Does most dog insurances cover influenza?
9. What should I do if I have 2 dogs and one gets sick?
10. What does it cost on average for the pet owner if their dog gets sick? with insurance/ without?
Dr. Natalie Marks has been a veterinarian at Blum Animal Hospital since 2006 and a co-owner since 2012. Prior to 2006, Dr. Marks worked at a small animal practice just north of Atlanta, GA. Her media experience began in print when she created several monthly veterinary columns in multiple community magazines and was a frequent guest speaker for the German Shepherd and Bernese Mountain Dog clubs of Atlanta. Dr. Marks is very active in all aspects of media, both locally and nationally. She is a frequent contributor to Fox News and has appeared on Good Day Chicago, WGN-Pet Central, NBC Morning News, ABC, CBS, NPR, WBBM, Northwestern University media channel and many local websites. Dr. Marks was featured nationally on the Today Show and CBS Nightly News during the canine influenza epidemic of 2015 and in multiple issues of JAVMA. She is a guest contributor in multiple media campaigns for Merck, Zoetis (formerly Pfizer), Boerhinger-Ingelheim and Royal Canin. Additionally, Dr. Marks has been published in Veterinary Medicine magazine, DVM magazine, and was a reporter for Veterinary News Network where she completed intensive media training.