Last Updated on August 9, 2022 by Alis Lee
Black Widow Bites Dog: When considering insects that may cause health problems for dogs and cats, one usually thinks of common ectoparasites such as fleas or ticks. They are usually easy to identify because fleas like to live on furry hosts, and ticks stay on the host for several days while feeding.
Fleas and ticks are parasitic insects and require their host to complete their life cycle. In contrast, spiders are not parasitic, which means they do not need a dog or cat host to live. Most spiders like to avoid other animals, but spider bites may also occur.
Almost all species of spiders inject venom into the bite, but the amount of venom injected is very small. However, for black widow spiders, even the smallest amount of poison can cause serious health problems.
What happens when a black widow spider bites a dog and what can do after?
Where Does The Black Widow Spider Bite The Dog?
The black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans) is a tiny insect that is only three to ten millimeters long. Their color can range from dark gray to black, and mature spiders have a classic red hourglass shape on their abdomen. However, young spiders may not develop this pattern until later in life.
Black widow spiders prefer warm, temperate climates, such as those in the southern United States. They can find outdoors, such as tree trunks, rodent holes, and leaf piles. They can also install nets in open buildings such as garages, basements, and sheds.
Bites can occur when dogs are walking outdoors or spiders are accidentally trapped or trampled. Black widows are not an aggressive spider species and prefer to avoid other animals, but under stressful situations, they will bite people. Sometimes this kind of bite is considered “dry”, which means that the skin is not broken or injected with venom. Unfortunately, the poisoning success rate exceeds 80%.
Symptoms of a black widow spider bite
The venom of black widow spiders contains a neurotoxin that can cause clinical symptoms related to the nervous system. It stimulates nerve cells, also called nervous system cells, and may cause muscle spasms or tremors. Bites can also cause muscle cramps and severe stiffness or tightening of abdominal muscles. Exciting the nervous system can increase the heart rate and respiratory system. In severe cases, seizures, paralysis, and respiratory arrest may occur.
Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common clinical symptoms of spider bites. Drooling, which may indicate nausea, is also common. Pain and swelling usually occur at the tingling site. Because of this pain and discomfort, victims bitten by spiders may appear restless and often moan or cry. The good news is that these signs appear more frequently than serious or life-threatening signs.
What to do if your dog attacked by a black widow spider
Spider bites are rare, but when a bite occurs, identifying spiders near your dog is very helpful. If a part of your puppy’s body is severely swollen and is drowsy or feverish. Your veterinarian may suspect that your dog is bit by it.
There is an antivenom serum that uses for black widow spider bites, but in general, it is not a common product in most small animal hospitals. Specialist hospitals are able to visit it. Otherwise, supportive care requires. Intravenous fluids are provided to provide support, and muscle relaxants are given to help treat tremors and spasms. Depending on the amount of venom injected, the dog may need this type of treatment for a few days or weeks. Veterinarians also use the same treatments as allergic reactions to treat spider bites. If the bite site becomes inflamed or causes discomfort in the puppy, painkillers are needed.
Many spider bites are harmless, but pet owners living in warm climates should beware of black widow spiders. Black widow spider bites can cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms or serious neurological problems. If you suspect that your canine was bitten by a black widow spider. Be sure to contact your veterinarian immediately for treatment.