Brown Recluse Spider Bite Poisoning Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $250 - 6,500

Average Cost

$1,200

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What is Brown Recluse Spider Bite Poisoning?

The brown recluse spider (loxosceles reclusa) is not aggressive and will not bite unless stepped on or crushed. Small bites can be non-symptomatic, but the spider’s hemotoxic venom does have the potential to be fatal, especially in small dogs. The brown recluse spider is most recognizable by the violin shaped mark on its back. It builds irregular shaped webs under logs or rocks, or inside the house in a closet or a cardboard box. Most bites are caused by the dog lying or walking on the spider. The immediate bite doesn’t usually cause pain, but symptoms may appear in 4-8 hours. A red, itchy skin lesion develops around the site. The bite may sometimes have a bullseye look with a white center or a ring around the outside. There may be a blistered area as well as considerable redness and swelling. Brown recluse spider venom causes necrosis in the skin (cell death). As symptoms progress, the dead cells will turn black and fall off leaving a gaping wound that may be as big the width of a hand. The area will eventually heal, although it may take a number of months. If a lot of venom is injected, or the dog is very sensitive to the venom, a systemic infection can develop. This is less common, but it can lead to serious problems including anemia, blood clots, and kidney failure. In severe cases, the bites can be fatal. There is no antidote, but early treatment with corticosteroids can reduce the chances of a systemic infection.

The majority of spider bites are harmless to dogs. Only a few spiders have venom strong enough to cause significant symptoms in such a small dose. The brown recluse spider is one of these, found most commonly in the southern and midwestern parts of the United States. In dogs, bites can infect the skin and sometimes cause systemic illness.

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Symptoms of Brown Recluse Spider Bite Poisoning in Dogs

Pain, or reluctance to put weight on one leg may be the first signs of a spider bite. Symptoms of skin infection around the bite will appear within a few hours. These symptoms should be treated by a veterinarian to avoid further problems.

  • Signs of pain
  • Skin lesion that is red, itchy and painful
  • Skin lesion with a bulls eye effect
  • Swelling
  • Blister
  • Bruised, inflamed area spreading around the lesion or blister
  • Necrotic tissue (black area of dead skin cells) around the bite
  • Hole or wound after the damaged tissue has fallen off
  • Scab that may take months to heal

A systemic infection can take up to 4 days to appear. These are the signs to look for.

  • Thirst
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Anemia
  • Water retention (edema)
  • Renal failure
  • Shock

Types

There are quite a few spiders in the loxosceles genus, but the brown recluse is the most common. A bite by another type of loxosceles spider will cause approximately the same symptoms. A bite by the hobo spider, a more aggressive house spider found in the northwestern United States, can also cause similar skin necrosis.

Causes of Brown Recluse Spider Bite Poisoning in Dogs

Brown recluse spiders need pressure in order to inject venom. These are some of the reasons your dog might get bitten.

  • Walking through a spider web
  • Sitting or lying on a spider
  • Investigating a dark secluded place such as a hollow log
  • Digging through dry leaves
  • Sleeping under a porch
  • Spider infestation in a kennel

Diagnosis of Brown Recluse Spider Bite Poisoning in Dogs

In most cases, the owner will not see when their dog gets bitten. Dogs don’t usually show visible pain and many bites occur when the dog is alone. The veterinarian will physically examine the area and ask for a detailed description of the symptoms, including when you first noticed the problem. He will take your dog’s temperature, vital signs, and bloodwork to check for anemia and other symptoms of systemic illness, as well as evaluate the possibility of other causes.

The appearance of the bite and the skin necrosis around it is usually a good indication of a brown recluse spider bite, depending of course on the location. If you did see the spider the veterinarian will ask for a description. Brown recluse spiders are between 6 and 20 mm across. They are typically light brown, but there can be a good deal of color variation. The black violin shaped mark on the front, head-part of the abdomen is the most distinctive mark. The spiders also have only three pairs of eyes, unlike most spiders which have four, but this is not easy to see without a magnifying glass.

Treatment of Brown Recluse Spider Bite Poisoning in Dogs

An ice pack is a good first treatment for redness and swelling. Get to the veterinarian as soon as possible as early treatment can prevent more severe illness. Corticosteroids are often prescribed. In the early stages, this can stop the necrosis from spreading too much. It can also help to contain the venom in the infected cells and protect against systemic illness. The veterinarian will suggest you monitor your dog closely for further symptoms. 

Dogs that are very ill will be given fluids and electrolytes as needed. Severe anemia and blood clotting problems could require blood transfusion. The most common drug used to treat brown recluse spider in humans and dogs is a leprosy drug called dapsone. This may be prescribed for more severe cases.

Antibiotics are usually given to prevent infections from developing. The veterinarian will likely also give you an antiseptic solution to clean the area. This will have to be done several times a day. The wound will need to be covered with a bandage. In some cases, tetanus shots are also given.

Recovery of Brown Recluse Spider Bite Poisoning in Dogs

Most dogs make a complete recovery from brown recluse spider bite poisoning. However, it can take many months for the wound at the infection site to fully heal, and sometimes scars are left behind. If this is a problem, show dogs can have plastic surgery to remove the mark.

The best way to manage the problem is to prevent it. Many bites occur because of an infestation of spiders in a house, a kennel, or some other place the dog goes regularly. Spraying for spiders and other insects frequently can help prevent this. It’s also a good idea to become familiar with all the poisonous spiders and other animals in your area, so you can recognize them immediately. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of poisoning and get your dog treated right away.

Brown Recluse Spider Bite Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Ruger
Yorkshire Terrier
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

We have spotted and killed 2 Brown Recluse spiders in our house in the past two days. We are going to spray the perimeter of the house as well as along the baseboards of our home to hopefully reduce anymore coming in. We have a 7 pound Yorkie and I had read on a couple of websites that the bites can sometimes be fatal which has caused me to become extremely worried. How common or likely is it to kill my dog if he gets bitten? We of course would take him to an emergency vet clinic but in the time it would take to notice the symptoms could we get him treatment before it is too late?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Brown recluse spider bites tend to cause dramatic tissue trauma and necrosis, and for small dogs, some bites can have enough toxin to be fatal, yes. Typically, you would notice swelling, redness and pain before the signs of the toxin would start to take effect, so you would normally have time to get to the emergency clinic. Spraying to keep the spiders out seems like a very good idea.

Brown recluse spiders are considered "dirty" spiders. They do not clean themselves so no matter how much you spray, it may not kill them. The only thing a pest control company will do is recommend you lay out glue traps. Glue traps provided by pest control can be folded so that they are rectangles with "roofs", and will prevent most incidences of pets accidentally stepping on them and getting stuck.

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Bubba
Shar Pei
5 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My vet believes my dog was bit by a spider. I did not find the spider but the symptoms are those of a spider bite. However my vet only prescribed a antibiotic and pain pill. Said to just put warm compresses on it. Should I request a steroid or a better way to care for the wound. They do not want it to be covered. I feel like it leaves it open for more infection or to be scratch. Any suggestions??

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Antibiotics and pain relief are standard treatments in uncomplicated cases of spider bites; a steroid shot shouldn’t be necessary, follow your Veterinarian’s instructions and keep a close eye on Bubba in the meantime. If you see the area become more swollen, you notice respiratory distress or an increase in heart rate return to your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Todd
Cocker Spaniel
15 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

huge lump, dx month ago as spider bite

Medication Used

antibiotic finished

My cocker was dx a month ago with a spider bite. He has a huge lump on his side. At the time it was red, hot and getting larger. Antibiotics and steroid ointment were given. No oral steroids were given due to cardiomyopathy. The bite got some better and redness went away(swelling never went away totally). Now, it is getting larger again. When aspirated before it was blood filled. Could this be something else?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
If the mass is getting larger again you should return to your Veterinarian for an examination to check if they still believe it to be a spider bite or something else; without examining Todd I cannot really give much input here. Bleeding, inflammation or fluid accumulation may cause a mass to grow. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

how come it always ends in "go to your veterinarian ?.. you might as well leave all the other stuff out except go to your vet... would love to see what a few pictures of how it looks, what to look for, how it starts, what to look for, i think that photos would b much better to see..
Actuality, i have a hard time when i read.. pictures i think would help the ones who can read with photos, instead of words.. only a a suggestion...

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Sicui
Belgian Shepherd
8 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling
Anemia
Necrosis
Somnolence
minimum platelets
leucopenia

Medication Used

metronidazole

Si cui, my 8 year old belgian shepperd has a wound that started 3 days ago, we thought she was wounded by a cat or a rat, we went to the vet, they gave us meloxicam, but after 24hrs her paw started to swell and bleed they gave us cefalexin, after 48 hrs she had signs of necrosis and everything inflamated to her armpit (pawpit), she is hopitalized, se has anemia and plaquetopenia, we suspect hemolisis, Can I use human antivenom for my dog?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
You should not use anything on Sicui without consulting with your Veterinarian, as far as I am aware there is no antivenom for brown recluse spider venom; you should discuss Sicui’s case with your Veterinarian and treat with supportive and symptomatic care. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/brown-recluse-spider/

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Benjamin
Bichon Frise
4 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Tail is swollen, red and blistered

My four year old Bichon in south Florida exhibited signs of severe pain around the base of his tail suddenly 3 days ago. By the next day he refused to walk, panted and cried non stop. I took him to the vet who thought it was a hot spot and gave us tramadol for the pain and a gentamicin spray. the next day he was worse; I took him back to the vet who gave him fluids and an antibiotic injection and a pain injection. He refuses to eat and will not stand or walk.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, I cannot help Benjamin over an email. I'm not sure what medications he has received or what your veterinarian thought might be going on, but if he is not better, he should be rechecked and re-evaluated. Sometimes if a condition doesn't respond the way that we think that it will, that can be a clue as to other things that might be going on, and that might help your veterinarian figure our what is happening with Benjamin's tail. I hope that he is okay.

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Buster
Chihuahua and Rat Terrier
16 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

slightly aggressive now

I believe my dog may have been but by a spider, of what nature I am uncertain however the wound is on his left side just below his last set of ribs. The wound is about the size of a nickle around and has a ring of what looks like scar tissue (no previous injuries) at first the inside of this ring had what appeared to be a scab from what I thought was from a fight he had recently been in with one of our other dogs but now it looks like the "scab" has shriveled and underneath that is another layer of raw tissue... he now has started to loose a small ring of hair around his wound as well... does this sound like a brown recluse bite and should I take him to the vets office asap???

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Teddy Bear
Chihuahua/Yorkie
Approx 6 yrs
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Wounds

Medication Used

Cefpodoxime

My dog suddenly had 2 puncture wounds a little smaller than a pencil that would bleed when he moved. Next to them was what looked like a large bruise which has since started breaking off leaving a large wound. Before it started breaking off, my vet said to put antibiotic ointment on it, cover it if I can and he was given Cefpodoxime (Simplicef) 100 MG to be given 1/2 once a day for 16 days. Since he was at the vet, the bruised looking are has started to come off leaving the large wound. (Approx silver dollar size, but oblong) We can't afford are not her vet visit. Is this normal? We don't know if it is from a spider bite. The puncture wounds themselves aren't discolored.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations

Spider bites can be dangerous whether or not they are poisonous due to the possibility if the body having an adverse reaction or from an infection. It seems like Teddy Bear may have been bitten by a brown recluse spider due to the symptoms that are presenting. This isn’t something to be managed at home and you should return to your Veterinarian regardless of cost for supportive care and treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tyson
Bluenose pitbull
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Can I give my dog Amox/K Clav 8.75mg for a spider bite? Bite is 1 1/2wks old.On front paw, has oozy puncture blk blister-like spots,it's red and goes down in between his toes,has lost all fur in that area

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Without examining Tyson I cannot recommend the use of antibiotics, especially any which you may have just lying around; I don’t know if they are out of date, stored correctly, contaminated or anything else. If there is a wound on the paw you should have your Veterinarian take a look at it to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tippy
Reindeer chihuahua
12 Weeks
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

I have a 1.7 pound puppy chihuahua he had a big bump on his neck so took him to the vet. He suggested that he had got bitten by a brown recluse spider so prescribed antibiotics cream to put on the wound because it’s a nickel size gap on his neck and pain medicine it’s been 7 days and now he has bumps all around his neck just how the first one started they look like absesses and when they rupture they become big wounds. Is this the venom still in there still doing damage or can this be something else????

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
It may be a case that the wound has a secondary infection which is causing the formation of other wounds, you should visit your Veterinarian again to get a course of systemic antibiotics and to look at the wounds to determine if any debridement or work is needed on them. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Hemi
English Bulldog
1 Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

swelling, fever , lethargic
swelling,

Medication Used

Cefpodoxime
Claratin

I believe my English bulldog was bit by a brown recluse on the top of his paw. He went to the emergency vet and she gave him a steroid and antibiotic injection. It's been 12 hours since he went to the vet and the horrible swelling of his entire leg hasn't subsided. Is this normal? Aside from icing is there something I can do to help reduce the swelling? Or something the vet can give him aside from the steroid injection?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
There is no antivenom for brown recluse spider poisoning, any treatment is purely supportive and symptomatic which your Veterinarian gave you already. Swelling is normal and it is still very early in the process so it is a case of following the instructions given by your Veterinarian to get the best result. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/brown-recluse-spider/

Loxosceles - brown recluse poison spreads by hyaluronidase which can be neutralized by Vitamin P which are Plant Peel Bioflavinoids like Hesperin.

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isaac
Siberian Husky
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

red flesh spot
drinking little
slugish
muscle pain

hi my husky as a large wound on his behind, the flesh is gone or like he was biting at it. we have a flea problem and im not sure if its a hotspot or spider bite. he drank a little today and seem slugish. im taking him to the vet tomorrow. is there anything they can give? i was putting antibotic cream and proxide on his wound today he did eat a little today.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Your Veterinarian will determine the severity of the wound and will treat accordingly, they may prescribe medication to help with healing and to prevent against secondary infection (antibiotics etc…). However, it is important to keep the area clean, peroxide isn’t ideal because it can cause damage to capillaries which leads to a slowing of the healing process; chlorhexidine is effective but less damaging than peroxide. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Spencer
Boston Bull Terrier
unknown
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

swelling, oozing blood

we were in the AZ desert walking our Boston Bull came to us with left rear leg swelling now more than 12 hr later whole hind leg swollen didn't see wound initially but today began seeping blood dog is sipping water took half Benadryl non labored breathing good spirits fur and flesh off wound area

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations

It would be advisable to take Spencer to your Veterinarian for tests and supportive therapy. Not knowing the origin of the bite makes advice difficult; regardless of the type of bite, Spencer is at risk of secondary infection which can be more severe than the bite and venom itself. Please take Spencer to his Veterinarian for evaluation. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Mona
Poodle/Maltese
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

brusing, lump, not eating or drinking

Medication Used

pain killer and antibiotic

What are the important treatments for my dog to receive? She has some of the symptoms maybe beacuse it's only been a day she got bittin. She has a black blood lump on her neck and the blackness is spreading through out her chest.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations

It is important to visit your Veterinarian as the spider's venom will damage the red blood cells and cause death of the cells in the surrounding tissue; there is no at home treatment, a day is a long period of time in these types of cases. If your Veterinarian isn’t open, visit an Emergency Veterinarian regardless of cost for supportive care. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/brown-recluse-spider/

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Ace
Shepherd
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Unknown

Medication Used

none

I was sitting in my recliner when my dog jumped up and ran over to the baseboard and began sniffing. After a moment he jerked his head back as if he was stung or bitten and when I went over I found a spider that I killed and I have identified as a brown recluse. I've inspected his nose area and could not see any bites but I would like to know what are some things I should look out for and if there's any primitive stuff I can do that might help in case he was bitten?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
If Ace starts to show signs of a spider bite, he needs to be seen by a veterinarian. Signs to watch for include swelling, any tissue trauma or abscess forming, or irritation where he won't leave the area alone. I hope that he was only startled by the spider and not actually bitten.

My female pitbull was bitten n the bottem part of her foot"pad" it was red and swollen yesterday it had a white center like a pimple in the middle, I checked it today and a hole is now where the white dot was and she won't stop licking it, I have given her some norocillin, what else can I do

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