Dog Black Widow Spider Bite
From Pet Health Learning Center
Dog Black Widow Spider Bite
If you have a dog you know they do not have a fear of bugs or spiders, nor can they discern the difference between a poisonous spider or one that is harmless. Their curiosity gets the better of them, which is what can cause them to be bitten.
The Black Widow Spider
The female black widow spider has more venom than the male and is the one that could potentially cause harm to your dog. The venom itself is a neurotoxin, however, spiders do not prey on pets, children, or adults, and instead they bite to defend themselves when they fear danger. Obviously, a dog sniffing or invading a black widow nest would certainly cause the spiders to feel threatened and bite.
Symptoms of a Black Widow Bite
If your dog is bitten by a black widow, the venom will affect the animal seconds after being bitten, just as after any Dog Bug Bites. If you live in an area where there are lots of black widows, you need to know the signs of a black widow bite in your dog, such as:
- Muscle weakness and tremors - Paralysis in one or more limbs - Pain in the location of the bite - Stiffening of the muscles
Death occurs if the breathing muscles become affected and paralyzed. Unfortunately, veterinarians have no test they can perform to know if there is venom in the blood. This means you must know what to look for in your dog and you must take action immediately to get him or her to your nearest veterinarian as soon as possible.
Treatment options for suspected black widow spider bites include muscle relaxants to reduce the spasms and intravenous fluids at the veterinarian's clinic. Your dog will need to remain at the veterinarian hospital for several days in order for him or her to be monitored closely.
Prevention of black widow spider bites in dogs and cats is your best defense. You are more likely to encounter black widows if you live in the Southwestern area of the United States, such as Arizona or Nevada, than if you live in a colder or more humid climate, such as Washington or New Hampshire. Though black widows can live in any state, they are more populous in hot, dryer climates.
If you suspect or find a black widow nest or see a black widow outside or in your home, it is time to call an exterminator that uses pet-safe ingredients. Wherever there is one black widow, there are surely more somewhere close by, so exterminating your property will kill off any nests that may be lurking in or outside your home.
Finally, keep an eye on your dog as much as possible. Obviously, people have to work and often dogs are left alone in the house for a number of hours every day. Your dog will not be discerning when it comes to their curiosity of a black widow spider, you have to be the one that makes sure they are safe when you are home or not.