If your curious canine comes across a spider, the scared arachnid may bite him. Depending on the species, the spider's venom can cause serious and sometimes deadly side effects. Most spiders aren't powerful enough to bite through Fido's skin, but a bite from those who can requires a trip to the veterinarian.
The bite of a venomous spider such as the brown recluse, the black widow and to a lesser extent the brown widow can be deadly to a pup. Symptoms of a spider bite may include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramping, drooling, tremors, paralysis, blood pressure changes, fever, blood disorders and kidney failure. Swelling or redness may occur at the bite site, blistering is possible, as is pain to the touch. With a brown recluse bite, an open wound forms that can take months to heal.
Symptoms of a spider bite usually occur within two to 24 hours. If you believe your dog's been spider-bitten, get him to the vet. Bring the spider in a jar if you can for identification. Your vet can administer antivenin in serious cases, along with supportive care such as intravenous fluids, pain medication and anti-seizure medication. She may prescribe treatment for the wound caused by a brown recluse bite to prevent infection.
By Susan Paretts
WebMD: Insect and Spider Bites and Stings on Dogs
petMD: Brown Recluse Spider Venom Toxicosis in Dogs
Pet Assure Newsletter: Insect Bites on Dogs: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment
Pet360: Brown Recluse Spider Bites on Dogs
Pet Poison Helpline: Black Widow Spider
University of California, Riverside -- Center for Invasive Species Research: Brown Widow Spider
About the Author
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.