Help!  A Black Widow Bit My Dog  

Help!  A Black Widow Bit My Dog  

Fleas and ticks are the insects that come to mind when we think about our dogs.  However, we must not forget about spiders.  There may be situations when a spider bite occurs.  Unfortunately, most species of the spider inject venom into their bites.  Most of the time, the amount of venom is small, but we need to pay close attention to black widow spiders.  Even the smallest amount of venom from a black widow spider can cause serious health concerns.  This article will go into further detail about black widow bites, the symptoms of the bite, and what to do next.

Black widow spiders can be dark gray to black in color and only three to ten millimeters long.  They favor warmer climates and can be found near leaves, trees, and rodent holes.  Black widows can also set up webs inside the house, garage, or basement.  Basically, they can be anywhere! Bites can occur when dogs encounter the spider.  Black widow spiders are not normally aggressive as they tend to hide from other animals, but once again, their venom is dangerous.

What are the symptoms of a black widow spider bite?  See below:

  • Muscle twitching and tremors
  • Cramping
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

It would be helpful to identify a spider near your dog when a bit takes place.  If your dog is experiencing acute swelling, lethargy, or a fever, seek veterinarian care immediately.  An antivenin and/or intravenous fluids will be provided for support.  Depending on the amount of venom injected, dogs may need therapy for up to several weeks.  It is important to recognize the symptoms and seek care immediately if necessary.