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What To Do If Your Dog Is Bitten By a Spider

What To Do If Your Dog Is Bitten By a Spider

Typically spiders prefer to stay out of sight and not cause any issues, but every now and again people and pets can get bitten by spiders. Below, our North Providence vets provide advice on how to treat spider bites on dogs and when to seek veterinary attention.

Spider Bites On Dogs

The majority of spider bites are harmless. Mild symptoms of a spider bite on a dog can include minor irritation, itchiness, maybe a little swelling, or redness. 

That said, two species of spiders in North America are dangerous to both humans and pets: the black widow and the brown recluse. If one gets bit by either of these spiders, veterinary attention is required because they can cause serious side effects.

How To Treat A Spider Bite On A Dog

If you think that your dog has been bit by a spider, call your vet. They will either recommend that you visit your local emergency vet clinic or give you treatment options at home. They might even give you the best news, that your pooch doesn't need treatment at all.

If you happen to see the spider that bit your dog, capture it in a jar so your vet can identify the venom and start treatment sooner. If you're concerned about the spider being dangerous, remain at a safe distance and take a photo. Unfortunately in many cases, the effects of a spider bite don't show up until much later, in that case, your vet will try to determine the type of bite by the look of the area and any symptoms your pet is exhibiting. 

Depending on the type of bite, your pet might be treated with an antivenom, IV fluids, cleaning solutions, pain medications, or antibiotics. Ice packs can help reduce swelling and irritation. Some other home remedies for non-venomous bites include cleaning with soap and water and making a baking soda and water paste. Try to prevent your dog from licking or scratching the bite excessively.

Venomous vs Non-Venomous Spider 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 your dog has been bit by a spider and how serious it is.

Non-Venomous Bites

Most of the spiders found in the North Providence area simply can't produce enough venom to harm your dog, or you. Their bites appear as small red bumps, similar to mosquito bites, and cause hardly any irritation to your dog. They can be treated in a number of natural ways, mainly focused on itch relief. Some dogs may not even notice any irritation at all.

Venomous Bites

The following are the two types of venomous spiders that North Providence pet owners should keep an eye out for:

Black Widow - These bites can start to manifest symptoms quickly after your pup gets bit. The bite itself is painful and causes swelling and redness in the area. Thankfully, 15% of bites from black widow spiders 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 bite from a brown recluse spider can be difficult to spot. They tend to be painless, but still leave a red mark at the site. However, over time your dog will develop a white blister with a bulls-eye or tissue destruction in the surrounding area. 

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.

Dog Recovery from Spider Bite

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.

If your dog is experiencing severe symptoms due to a spider bite contact us right away or reach out to your nearest after-hours veterinary clinic for urgent care.

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Ferguson Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of North Providence companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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