It is hard to accurately diagnose or detect spider bites since spider bites, insect bites and bee stings can all bring about itchy red welts on the skin of a dog. In America, only three kinds of spiders tend to be real threats to a dog’s health, though: the hobo spider, the black widow, and the brown recluse. Fortunately, symptoms of spider bites in dogs tend to be the same as with humans, so you can get the right medical attention for these spider bites in your dog in no time – if you read these symptoms accurately and promptly, that is. Read on.
Though only several spider species in America actually have long enough fangs or potent enough venom to damage dogs, every spider is venomous. Widow spiders and brown spiders are usually the most common culprits of dangerous bites, though the hobo spider’s venom is similar to that of brown spiders. Once symptoms of spider bites in dogs arise, though, the spider will have left without notice because its bite is completely painless.
Spiders that are known as non-venomous leave red welts on the skin, similar to a huge mosquito bite. It might itch, too. However, brown spiders and widow spiders’ venom differ and thus affect different dog systems.
The venom of a black widow happens to be a neurotoxin. This means that it will affect the nerve synapses and your dog’s muscles will involuntarily cramp for days along with the diaphragm. It is therefore also common for respiratory distress to come about, so listen for shallow and fast breathing in your dog.
The venom of hobo spiders and brown spiders, on the other hand, is necrotic. This means that it will kill tissue by breaking down the structure of cells. These spiders leave itchy red skin lesions that will bleed irregularly. Cysts will develop and the bite will get surrounded by a white ring. The center might also turn bruised-looking and bluish. These initial signs of the death of tissues might not be noticeable until the venom reaches the deeper tissues, though.
Muscle relaxants and pain medications do exist to alleviate the symptoms of spider bites in dogs while the venom does its job, but recovery won’t happen until a few days later. Keep in mind that antivenin is only reserved for very young or elderly dogs that are at risk. To slow down the symptoms of hobo spider and brown spider bites, you can also place ice packs onto the affected area. Veterinarians can also provide corticosteroids to stop the damage of tissues earlier on.