The Danger of a Spider Bite to Your Dog

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Insect bites are one of the most common concerns of pet owners. Most insect bites are harmless, they could be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs to minimize itching and swelling.

But spider bites is a totally different story. Several types of spiders found at home release venom that’s toxic to animals, including dogs. If you suspect that a spider has bitten your dog, check your dog’s feet, face, neck, or belly. A dog that’s been bitten by a spider many times may go into shock.

Insect and spider bites are usually found in hairless parts of the animal’s body. Identifying the spider that bit your dog is important in treating the affected area. In addition, if your dog shows signs of hyper sensitivity to the spider venom, such as excessive drooling, vomiting, seizures, face scratching, or agitation, rush your pooch to the nearest vet for treatment of anaphylactic shock.

Symptoms of a Spider Bite in Dogs

One of the most common signs of spider bites in dogs is sharp pain near the affected area. The site of the bite could also swell or bleed. Later on, the dog will experience high fever, joint pains, and muscle weakness. Diarrhea, vomiting, trembling, and hives could also result in spider bites in dogs. In severe cases, dogs bitten by spiders suffer from seizure, shock, and sometimes even death.

Three of the most dangerous spiders to dogs are black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, and the wolf spider. A bite from the black widow spider—when not treated right away—will result in death.

Because spider venom contains an enzyme that triggers allergic reaction in dogs, the affected area will itch. The itchiness may spread to various parts of the dog’s body.

Home Treatment for Dogs Bitten By Spider

As soon as you find out the kind of spider that bit your dog, take your pet to the nearest vet. The treatment will depend on the specie of the spider and the severity of the bite. In most cases, your vet will prescribe antihistamine to relieve swelling and itchiness.

After treatment, the affected area should be tender and swollen. To minimize irritation on your dog’s skin, apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream several times per day. Milk of magnesia also works to soothe irritated, inflamed skin.

During bath time, mix a teaspoon of Epsom salt in two cups of warm water and boil the mixture for several minutes. Cool the mixture and use it to treat the irritated patches of skin from the spider bite. Store the rest of the unused mixture in fridge to maintain efficacy.

You can also use witch hazel to dry the swollen area. Witch hazel contains potent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that will gently heal wounds and inflamed skin quickly. Get a cotton ball and saturate it with witch hazel. Apply to the affected area for several days until the wound dries.

Dogs bitten by a spider should recover fully in two weeks. To prevent the same thing from happening again, hire a professional exterminator to remove dangerous spiders in your home. Also, don’t let your guard down; always keep an eye on your dog when you let it play outside.