Spider bites on dogs are as common as on human which means it does not occur often. This is because spiders bite only when they are provoked as an action of defense. Dogs often land up in such situation as they have curiosity of exploring things due to their amazing smelling sense. Spiders also dwell in houses and dogs often sniff into corners tracking smells. When dog approaches the spider it may get provoked and bite it. It becomes difficult to identify which inset bite and this can only be done by understanding the symptoms. Often most spider bites are not serious but certain spiders such as ‘Brown Recluse’ or ‘Black widow’ can cause serious pain and reactions if bites a dog or even humans.
Signs of spider bites in dogs
Among the entire fauna of spiders, black widow, hobo spider and brown recluse are highly disconcerting. The dog may not know that he is being bitten as the bite is often painless. Non-venomous spider bite may cause red welts on skin of the dog such as seen in mosquito bite. This welt may also be itchy. However, ‘black widow’ and ‘brown recluse’ have serious venom and may have intense effect on the dog affecting different body system.
Black widow spider venom is neurotoxin. This may affect your dog’s nerve synapses. Involuntary cramps of dog’s muscles may be noticed for days. Bitten dog may also suffer from respiratory issues. Brown recluse and hobo spider venom are different from that of ‘Black widow’. They have necrotic venom. This venom may influence the tissue causing their death by destroying cell structures. One of the common symptoms of bites by these spiders includes lesions which may appear red and cause itch. These lesions may also bleed occasionally. Cyst may occur on the bitten spot and a white ring may appear around the bitten spot. Sometimes the puncture may turn bluish and bruised. Signs of death of skin tissues may be insidious unless the venom affects deeper tissues. Muscles tremor, paralysis, capillaries restrictions are some other symptoms that your dog may suffer from. If the dog is not treated timely it may also die.
Diagnosis of spider bites on dogs
The veterinarian may probe on your dog’s medical history and symptoms noticed. Unless it is confirmed that the bite is by a spider the vet may focus on wide range of possible causes of the bite. Urinalysis, blood count and a complete blood profile will be generated. Blood test would help the doctor to accurately determine the cause of the issue. Doctors may also focus on the coagulation to check for any blood clot. If ‘brown recluse’ spider bite is suspected then Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (abbreviated as ELISA) tests is suggested to detect the venom.
It cannot be determined when a dog may get bitten by a spider. However, chances of such incidences can be significantly reduced by getting rid of spiders. There are certain measures that can be adopted to eradicate spiders from the house. First of all get all the crevices, cracks and holes sealed, even those around doors and windows. Clean up attic and other remote spots in your house. Look for webs as it will help you determine which spot in your house is inhabited by spiders. Run pest control in your house at appropriate intervals. This will not only eliminate spiders but other insects too.
If you notice any medical changes in your dog then take it to a Veterinarian. Your vet may analyze the condition of the dog and would suggest certain test. He/she may physically analyze the wound and may look for other symptoms. He will probe you on any other possible signs. Conventional wound-care methods are often suggested if other symptoms are not noticed. In some benign cases cold compresses may be recommended for alleviation of pain and inflammation. In case of severe illness the dog would be treated with IV therapy under hospital setting. Sometimes blood transfusion may be needed.
Sometimes cell destruction on the bitten spot is intense which can only be handled using surgical procedures. During this procedure dead tissues of skin are eradicated. In extreme cases skin grafting may be needed if there is too much damage. Breathing assistance may be provided if the dog is suffering from respiratory issues such as in case of black widow spider bite. If the dog experience muscles spams, then muscles relaxants are suggested for relief. The bite may take weeks to month for curing. During the healing period you may have to bring your dog to the vet on given dates.
If the insect that bite the dog is not spotted during the bite then it is better to determine indigenous spiders in local area. The dog should be taken to veterinarian immediately if any sign or symptoms are noticed. Spider bites on dogs can also be fatal hence addressing the condition effectively is essential.