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Identifying a Spider Bite on Your Dog

Dr. Corry Key

Apr 15, 2024

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Unexpected and unwelcome, a spider bite can cause some serious symptoms for your canine friend. Knowing what’s wrong with your pal may be challenging if you didn’t see the creepy crawler in action. In this blog, we’ll help you recognize the signs of a spider bite in dogs, understand potential risks, and know when it’s time to seek professional help from the Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG).

Spider bite symptoms in dogs

Yikes! Spider bites! When it comes to spider bites, you may not even know it happened until your dog is symptomatic. If you’re ever in doubt or concerned about a spider bite on your dog, don’t hesitate to call VEG for expert advice.

So, how do you know if your dog has been bit by a spider? After a spider bite, various symptoms may turn up, depending on the type of spider and your dog’s sensitivity. Some common signs include:

  • Itching
  • Licking or biting at a particular area more than usual
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling at the bite site
  • Round, red “target lesion”
  • Open wound with ulceration and/or pus

Now, all eyes on your dog! It’s essential to closely monitor signs and symptoms, especially if you live in an area known for venomous spiders.

What if the spider was venomous?

A spider bit your dog and your first thought may be: was it venomous? Spider bites can range from mild to severe, depending on the arachnid species. And while most spider bites are harmless, bites from venomous spiders like the Black Widow or Brown Recluse can definitely be more dangerous. Let’s untangle this web of worries with some symptoms you can easily identify.

Symptoms of a venomous spider bite

Distinguishing between a venomous and non-venomous spider bite can be tricky. Below are some symptoms to help you identify the seriousness of the bite. If you suspect your dog has been bitten by a venomous spider, immediate veterinary attention is crucial. Early intervention from the expert team at VEG can make a significant difference in your dog’s recovery.

Often, venomous spiders make their mark known by causing some pronounced symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Necrotic wounds (in severe cases, dead tissue is present)
  • Swelling
  • Systemic reactions, e.g., skin reaction, swollen tongue, constricted airway
  • Tremors

If you notice any rapid or concerning changes in your dog’s health following a bite, come to your nearest VEG animal hospital. Your dog will be triaged immediately.

Spider symptoms? Call Veterinary Emergency Group anytime

Knowing when to call for vet help is key in managing a spider bite situation. VEG is open all day and all night, so you can call us anytime! Call us if you notice any of the symptoms above. Come in immediately if your dog is showing severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, significant swelling, or signs of shock.

We can’t stress this enough: if you know or suspect that the bite was from a venomous spider, don’t wait for symptoms to worsen. Early veterinary intervention can be vital. VEG’s team of experienced veterinarians is ready to provide the necessary care and treatment for your pet.

Prepping for VEG: what to do after the spider bite

Before you go to VEG, try to gather as much info as possible about the incident:

  • If available, and if it’s safe to do so, bring a photo or description of the spider.
  • Don’t risk getting bit yourself because then you may have two emergencies on your hands. We don’t need you to bring the spider in. Really, don’t. Just your dog.
  • Note the time of the bite and any symptoms your dog has been experiencing. This information can help our veterinary team provide the best possible care for your dog.

Preventing Spider Bites in Dogs

Prevention is always better than a cure, right? So, here are a few different ways to help keep your dog safe from spider bites:

  • Inspect for insects: Regularly check your home for spiders; safely remove any webs. Seal cracks and crevices in your home to prevent spiders from entering.
  • Beware the basement: Be cautious in areas where spiders are commonly found, like basements, garages, and wooded areas. Keeping your dog away from these spots can reduce the risk of spider bites.
  • Visit the vet: Regular veterinarian check-ups and discussing preventive measures with your primary care vet can also help keep your furry companion safe.

Contact VEG for your dog’s health and well-being

Whew! This topic had a lot of legs! But we’re glad you made it here because when you’re informed about spider bites in dogs, you’ll know when to seek our professional vet help. Don’t hesitate to contact VEG, even if you just have questions. At any of our veterinary ERs, a doctor is able to provide you with answers and advice about your dog. If you’re advised to bring your dog in for emergency treatment, you can stay by your buddy’s side the entire time. So, stay vigilant, practice prevention, and do your best to keep that playful pup happy and free of spider bites!