by Sara Schweiger (reprinted with permission) 

Spiders can inhabit your home, especially those warm, dark, and less-frequented areas in your property. Regardless of their isolated dwelling grounds, these critters can still inflict pain and health problems for you, your family, and your pets. Pets, such as dogs, are especially vulnerable to spider bites since they can wind up in the dark spaces and corners of your home where spiders dwell. Fortunately, most common house spiders do not pose any real threats, but there are still some spider species that has a dangerous bite, such as the black widow spider. Black widows usually dwell in dark, dry, warm, and abandoned spaces. So what happens when your dog gets too close to a black widow spider and gets bitten?

Signs Of Black Widow Spider Bites On Dogs

Although these spiders are not aggressive and only bite when they feel threatened, the effects of their bites can still be fatal, especially on dogs. The most common signs of spider bite on dogs consist of:

  • Redness and swelling at the bite site
  • Hives
  • Swollen face or muzzle

Unfortunately, there are also some dogs that are very sensitive to the venom of black widow spiders. This will lead to allergic reactions, including vomiting, breathing problems, and inflamed skin. In very rare and severe cases, it can even lead to death. Other symptoms include:

  • Extreme pain
  • Tremors
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Paralysis
  • Death

If your dog has been bitten by this type of spider, or any spider specie, immediately take him to his veterinarian. The venom of a black widow spider can easily kill a small dog, and it can also induce severe reactions on young and adult dogs.

How Veterinarians Treat Spider Bites

According to studies, dogs that have been bitten by a black widow can be given an antivenin shot; however, it is too expensive for most veterinarians to keep on hand; thus, it must be ordered from a human hospital instead. Other treatment methods may consist of:

  • Breathing assistance and relaxing the muscles
  • Medication to alleviate tremors and muscle spasms
  • IV fluids and hospitalization

Thankfully, most dogs survive after getting bitten by a black widow spider as long as immediate medication and treatment is given. To help avoid such problems, you must teach your canine to avoid going to dark areas. In addition, have your home inspected for any signs of house spider infestation as these spiders may not only harm your pets, but your family as well.