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What does a spider bite look like on a dog?

Many of us are terrified by the thought of a spider lurking in our home, although they typically try to stay hidden well out of our way. That said, they can unexpectedly bite us or our pets. Some of the spider bites our Douglasville vets see in dogs are very serious and require urgent care. Here's what to do if you think that your dog may have been bitten by a spider.

Spider Bites On Dogs

Most spider bites are completely harmless. They may cause mild irritation, itchiness, swelling, or redness in your dog. However, in North America, two spider species, the black widow and the brown recluse, are toxic to both humans and pets. If either of these spiders bites your pet, seek immediate medical attention because they can cause serious side effects.

What does a spider bite look like on a dog?

There are a few tell-tail signs to look out for to determine if your dog has been bit by a spider and how serious it is.

Non-Venomous Bites

Most spiders found in the Douglasville area lack enough venom to harm your dog or you. Their bites resemble mosquito bites and cause minimal discomfort for your dog. They can be treated naturally in a variety of ways, with a primary focus on itch relief. Some dogs may not even notice the discomfort.

Venomous Bites

You are probably wondering what the symptoms of a venomous spider bite on a dog are. The following are the two types of venomous spiders and their bites that Douglasville pet owners should be aware of.

Black Widow - These bites can cause symptoms to appear quickly after your dog is bitten. The bite itself is painful, causing swelling and redness in the affected area. Unfortunately, only 15% of black widow spider bites are considered "dry," or non-venomous.

Female black widow spiders are the most dangerous, and they tend to live in warm, dark, and secluded places such as a woodpile or shed. These spiders are small, black, and have a red hourglass marking on their body. If they do inject your dog with venom, you will see symptoms such as cramping, muscle pain, drooling, or vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the nearest emergency vet clinic.

Brown Recluse - A brown recluse spider bite can be difficult to detect. They are usually painless, but they leave a red mark at the site. Your dog, on the other hand, will develop a white blister with a bulls-eye or tissue destruction in the surrounding area over time.

Brown recluse spiders live in quiet, undisturbed areas like closets and typically need to be agitated to bite. The first sign to look out for in your dog would be limping. Your dog might avoid putting pressure on the bite. In the most severe cases, the symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite on a dog may include bleeding, seizures, or respiratory collapse. If you think a brown recluse has bitten your dog, contact your vet for emergency care.

How to Treat a Spider Bite On a Dog

If you suspect that your dog has been bitten by a spider, contact your veterinarian. They will either recommend that you visit your local emergency vet clinic or provide treatment options at home. They might even tell you the best news: your dog does not require treatment at all.

If you see the spider that bit your dog, place it in a jar so that your veterinarian can identify the venom and begin treatment as soon as possible. If you are concerned that the spider is dangerous, stay at a safe distance and photograph it. Unfortunately, the effects of a spider bite do not always show up right away; in this case, your veterinarian will try to determine the type of bite based on the appearance of the area and any symptoms your pet is experiencing.

Treatment options for spider bites in dogs include antivenin for black widow spiders, pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and IV fluids.

There are no antivenoms for Brown Recluse spiders. Your veterinarian will treat your dog with cool compresses and a thorough cleaning if a Brown Recluse spider bites him. Antibiotics may be required in some cases to help fight infection. Most bites heal within three weeks or less. When dealing with a Brown Recluse spider bite in dogs, complications and death are extremely uncommon. In severe cases, wounds may require surgical treatment, and permanent scarring is a possibility.

Antivenom is available for Black Widow spider bites in dogs, but allergic reactions to the drug are common. That being said, your veterinarian will be able to provide medications to alleviate the symptoms of an allergic reaction in your dog. Other medications that may be prescribed for your dog if bitten by a Black Widow Spider include pain relievers and muscle relaxants.

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.

If you believe that your dog may have been bitten by a spider, contact our experienced Douglasville vets right away or visit your nearest emergency vet for urgent care.

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