Spider bites on Dogs

Spider bites on Dogs

Dogs have a keen sense of smell. It is one of the reasons why they often land up in unusual situations. Their curiosity is what makes them come face to face with different crawly, creepy creatures that reside in different dark corners and spaces. Most of these tend to attack and cause harm when disturbed.

One of the primary creatures that are known to attack dogs are spiders. They can be found almost everywhere and even in areas where you may never think them to be. There are several species of spiders that do not harm dogs. However, some other spider species like the black widow spider, the hobo spider, and the brown recluse spider can viciously attack dogs and cause extreme reactions and pain.

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A majority of spiders are generally non-poisonous. Their bites can be identified by the formation of reddish welts on the skin which appear similar to large mosquito bites. Affected dogs may also experience itchiness. All these symptoms of spider bites on dogs may however arise a few hours after the bite. The spider will often leave peacefully after attacking your dog, as its bite is typically not painful.

It is however important to note that the toxins ejected by hobo, black widow, and brown recluse spiders can adversely affect varied body systems of a dog and result in life-threatening reactions.

Spider bites on dogs: Symptoms and treatments

Humans affected by spider bites may experience a variety of symptoms such as a distinctive wound, facial swelling, hives, redness, swelling of just the nose, etc. The release of venoms during spider bites on dogs can also result in similar adverse reactions and symptoms in your pet. Affected dogs may elicit skin inflammation, vomiting, breathing problems, and even fatalities. The severity of symptoms are dependent on the kind of spider that bites your pet.

Brown Recluse Spider Bites on Dogs

A brown recluse spider bite on dogs does not result in immediate pain. The harmful reactions may be observed only after 2 to 3 hours. If you are unsure about the type of spider that has bitten you pet, consult a doctor for effective diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of brown recluse spider bites on dogs

  • The capillaries of the affected dog will start to constrict after some minutes from the bite. The wound will develop along with swelling of the area after 2 to 6 hours.
  • Later, pain, nausea and fever will be experienced by the dog
  • After a period of about 12 hours, the affected site will form a blister.

The dog has to be treated within 7 to 10 days from the brown recluse spider bite. Untreated cases will result in cell damage around the affected region.

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Treatment of brown recluse spider bites on dogs

  • Pet owners need to visit a vet for treatment of brown recluse spider bites on dogs.
  • Complete healing of the wound can take many months. Pet owners need to be on the lookout for formation of black necrotic tissue on the wound site. If such tissue develops and withers away, the underlying muscles can get exposed, thereby increasing the susceptibility to infections.
  • Pain and swelling can be alleviated via corticosteroids and other medications, as well as home remedies like use of ice packs.

Black Widow Spider Bites on Dogs

It is important to immediately take your dog to a vet if it has been bitten by a black widow spider. This spider’s venom can have a deadly effect on dogs. Small-sized dogs can die, while medium to large dogs can suffer from extreme reactions.

Symptoms of black widow spider bites on dogs

It is easy to identify the symptoms of a black widow spider bite on dogs. They include:

  • Rigidity of the muscles
  • Severe pain
  • Muscular tremors which can eventually cause paralysis
  • Severely poisoned dogs may die

The black widow releases a neurotoxin via its bite. This will result in the cramping of the dog’s muscles and diaphragm, and also harm the nerve synapses. Compromised diaphragm functionality can cause breathing difficulties, such as fast and shallow respiration.

Treatment of black widow spider bites on dogs

Instances of black widow spider bites on dogs require the immediate attention of a vet as any delay in treatment can lead to death of your pet.

  • The affected dog will be administered intravenous fluids and kept at the clinic for a few days
  • Muscle relaxants will be given to alleviate muscle spasms.
  • Respiratory assistance is also given

Hobo Spider Bites on Dogs

  • Just like brown recluse spiders, the venom of hobo spiders is also necrotic. A hobo spider bite will cause breakdown of cell structures leading to death of tissues.
  • There will be abnormal bleeding and formation of reddish itchy lesions on the bite site.
  • A white ring will form around the site along with cysts. The middle portion may become bluish and appear bruised.
  • Tissue death may eventually occur after the spider venom spreads to the deeper tissues.
  • Treatment for hobo spider bites on dogs is similar to that of brown recluse bites. 
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