Think You Found a Spider Bite on Your Dog? Here s What to Do

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.

All of these insect stings and bites cause similar signs in dogs. In fact, they are often indistinguishable from each other. The symptoms of the whole group are labeled “insect bite hypersensitivity” by veterinarians (even though technically a spider is not an insect but an arachnid).

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.

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Bites on the face tend to cause more severe symptoms than ones to the feet or tail. Puppies and very small dogs are more likely to have reactions to spider bites due to their small size.

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Do Spiders Bite Dogs?

The two species of spiders in the United States that contain strong enough venom to cause injury to dogs are the brown recluse spider and the black widow spider. Just as in people, these spiders can cause severe pain and tissue damage. The severity of the injury depends on the amount of venom released by the spider, the size of the dog, and the location of the bite.

In warmer areas, spiders are active year-round indoors and out. In colder climates spiders can take refuge from the weather in barns, garages, and homes. Spiders such as wolf spiders, garden spiders, and daddy long legs are found throughout the United States, but they do not have “medically significant” bites.

What are the symptoms of a spider bite on a dog

Dog Spider Bite

Brown Recluse – It can be very difficult to spot a recent bite from a brown recluse spider. They tend to be painless, but will generally 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.

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What Does a Spider Bite Look Like on a Dog

“The topical ones that contain pyrimethamine, like SimpleGuard, protect against biting insects,” Roberts says. “They don’t specifically say spiders, but they stop fleas, ticks, biting flies, sandflies, and lice. So I would imagine those medications would work against spiders too.”

Venomous spider bites definitely require medical attention. Dogs who get bitten by black widows can receive the antitoxin at a veterinary clinic. No antidote exists for brown recluse spider bites. But your veterinarian can provide supportive care, which may include removing damaged tissue.

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The exceptions would be if your dog is allergic to spiders or was in an area with known venomous spiders. Then you should treat the spider bite as an emergency and take your dog to the veterinarian immediately.

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How to Treat a Spider Bite on a Dog

Most spider bites do not require any treatment. If your dog is itchy or uncomfortable, a dose of an antihistamine can make them feel better faster (your veterinarian can recommend which type of antihistamine to keep at home for these types of situations and can calculate the appropriate dose for your dog).

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.

The followings are the two types of venomous spiders and their bites that Baton Rouge pet owners should keep an eye out for:

Think You Found a Spider Bite on Your Dog? Here s What to Do

Brown Recluse Spider Bite On Dog

If bitten by these spiders, seek veterinary attention immediately, as they can cause severe side effects.

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Spider Bites On Dogs

Antivenom is available for Black Widow spider bites in dogs although allergic reactions to this drug are common. That said, your vet will be able to supply medications to minimize the symptoms of an allergic reaction in your dog. Other medications that may be prescribed for your pooch if they are bitten by a BlackWidow Spider include pain meds, and muscle relaxers.

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.

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