Having a spider in your home is unpleasant for most people. Although they usually remain hidden and pose no harm, there are instances where they may bite humans or pets. Our veterinary experts at Baton Rouge want to educate you about spider bites in dogs and when it is necessary to seek medical help
Spider Bites On Dogs
Although spider bites usually cause minor discomfort like itching, slight swelling, and redness, two types of spiders in North America - the black widow and the brown recluse - can be dangerous to both humans and pets.
If bitten by these spiders, seek veterinary attention immediately, as they can cause severe side effects.
How To Treat A Spider Bite On A Dog
If you suspect a spider has bitten your dog, call your vet. They may suggest you visit an emergency vet clinic or provide you with treatment options to administer at home. Your vet may also inform you that your dog doesn't require any treatment at all.
If you manage to see the spider that bit your dog, safely capture it in a jar for your vet to identify the venom and start treatment promptly. If you're worried about the spider being dangerous, maintain a safe distance and take a photo. In some cases, the effects of a spider bite may not appear until later. In such situations, your vet will diagnose the type of bite based on the area's appearance and your pet's symptoms.
Treatment for spider bites can include antivenom, IV fluids, pain relief, cleaning solutions, or antibiotics, depending on the type of bite. Ice packs can alleviate swelling and irritation. Non-venomous bites can be treated by cleaning the affected area with soap and water or baking soda and water paste. It's important to prevent your dog from excessively licking or scratching the bite.
The Difference Between Venomous And Non-Venomous Bites
You might be wondering, "what does a spider bite look like on a dog?" There are a few tell-tail signs to look out for to determine if a spider has bitten your dog and how serious it is.
The majority of the spiders in the Baton Rouge region cannot produce enough venom to harm dogs or humans. Their bites usually resemble small red bumps, similar to mosquito bites, and hardly cause any discomfort to dogs. These bites can be treated naturally, with a focus on itch relief. In some cases, dogs may not even experience any irritation
The followings are the two types of venomous spiders and their bites that Baton Rouge pet owners should keep an eye out for:
Black Widow - Symptoms of spider bites in dogs can appear quickly after being bitten, causing pain, swelling, and redness in the affected area. Fortunately, around 15% of black widow spider bites are considered "dry," or non-venomous.
Female black widow spiders are the most hazardous and thrive in warm, dark, and secluded areas such as woodpiles or sheds. They are small, black, and have a red hourglass marking on their body. If they inject venom, dogs may experience symptoms such as cramping, muscle pain, drooling, or vomiting. If you observe any of these symptoms, take your dog to the nearest emergency vet clinic.
Brown recluse spider bites can be challenging to detect. They typically do not cause pain initially, but they leave a red mark that develops into a white blister or tissue destruction in the surrounding area over time. Brown recluse spiders prefer quiet, undisturbed areas like closets and need to be agitated to bite. Limping is the first sign to look for in your dog, and they may avoid putting pressure on the bite. Severe symptoms may include bleeding, seizures, or respiratory collapse. If you suspect a brown recluse spider has bitten your dog, seek emergency veterinary care.
How Quickly Will My Dog Recover?
Non-venomous bites can heal in as few as two or three weeks. Even some venomous bites will heal within a month. The most severe bites from brown recluses or black widows can take much longer. With ongoing treatment, your pet can recover fully from these bites in a few months.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.