How To Treat Spider Bites On Dogs

By Guest Author Valerie Banks

Dogs have an amazing sense of smell which often leads them into sticky situations. It is their curiosity that makes them encounter creepy crawling creatures in dark spaces and corners, which can inflict harm once disturbed. One type of creature that has been known to attack curious dogs is spiders and they are everywhere, including in places where you least expect them to be. Although there are certain spider species that are not considered to be a threat, there are some such as the brown recluse spider and the black widow that can inflict severe pain and reactions on your pet dog.

The Symptoms And Treatment Of Spider Bites On Dogs

There are common spider bite symptoms that can easily be identified on dogs, such as hives, swollen face or muzzle and redness on the wound. Dogs are no different from people and they can also suffer from the reactions caused by the toxins present in the venom of spiders. Depending on the type of spider, bitten dogs can experience vomiting, inflamed skin, breathing difficulties and even death.

The Black Widow

Black Widow Spider Eating Something

Black Widow Spider Eating Something (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When your dog is bitten by a black widow, you must bring him to the vet immediately. The venom of a black widow is lethal to dogs and it can kill a small sized dog and inflict severe reactions in medium to larger sized dogs.

Symptoms – You can easily detect the symptoms of a black widow bite. Your dog can suffer extreme pain, have rigid muscles and muscle tremors which can lead to paralysis. The worst case scenario will be death.

Treatment – In order to treat black widow bites, you will have to provide your dog with breathing assistance, and muscle relaxants or medication to reduce muscle spasms. When brought to the vet, IV fluids will be given and your dog will also be confined for a while. However, it is essential that medical attention is sought right away, because delaying medical care can only lead to death.

Brown Recluse Spider

English: Adult male brown recluse spider dorsa...

English: Adult male brown recluse spider dorsal view. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When your dog is bitten by a brown recluse spider, he will not feel the pain initially. It will often take about two to three hours before the bite and the reactions will be noticeable. Nevertheless, medical attention must be sought immediately if you are uncertain if it was a brown recluse spider that had bitten your pet.

Symptoms – Your dog’s capillaries will begin to restrict within the first several minutes, then the wound area will begin to swell within two to six hours. This is the time when pain will be felt and nausea and fever sets in. A blister will then begin to form within 12 hours. If your dog is not treated within seven to 10 days, you can expect your dog to have cell damage on the wound area.

Treatment – These bite wounds will take months to heal completely, but you will have to monitor the wound regularly when black necrotic tissue forms. If this tissue falls off it can expose the muscle thus putting your dog at risk of infection. To treat a brown recluse spider bite, you have to apply an ice pack to help reduce the swelling and pain, then bring him to the vet.

Dealing With Spiders In Your Home

The only way to make your home safe for your pet and for your family is by getting rid of the spiders. Have all the cracks and holes sealed off on the walls and along the windows and doors. Make it a point to de-clutter your storage spaces and have wood piles stored away from the house. Practice proper housekeeping methods to keep all kinds of insects away too. It is also a good idea to have a pest control professional inspect your home for spiders and other pests. Have your home treated as well if there is an infestation.

Attached Images:
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Valerie Banks is a freelance writer specializing in natural pest control methods. She regularly contributes pest control articles for Rogers pest control and other websites where a well experienced professional can be consulted.

Please visit my web site at Pet Portraits by Deena and see the many portraits I have painted (but no spiders!).  10% of proceeds goes to support CorgiAid.

Here’s a great guide to spiders and insects:


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7 thoughts on “How To Treat Spider Bites On Dogs

    • Maggie, I don’t mind spiders unless they are poisonous – they eat other bugs so they’re ok by me. What gives me the willies are soft squirmy gooshy things like worms. Ewwww!

  1. Pingback: Bloodsucking Insects That Often Affect People | 59beauty

  2. Deena in the post above makes an important point about other pests. Spiders need a food source and if that can be removed then it will help to keep your pet safe because there is no attraction to begin with. There are many different ways to control spiders that are pet and child safe. The best thing to do is contact a qualified, licensed pest control expert.

  3. Pingback: Black Widow Spider Bites on Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment | Thrasher Pest Control

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