DOG DEATH SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY A SPIDER BITE
The Black Widow is poisonous enough to be the cause of death of a small dog or a puppy. The treatment is symptomatic, with the use of analgesics. The problem with black widow bites in animals is that there is no way to diagnose if it really was a black widow bite, so it can only be assumed based on the symptoms the owner notices and describes to the veterinarian.
The strong toxicity the black widow is well known to everyone and therefore the owners should be especially careful when they go to holiday areas which are known for being the natural habitats of poisonous spiders.
If you suspect that your pet was bitten by a black widow, the only thing you can do is to try to soothe the bitten animal and force it to stay calm as much as you can if you are not able to get immediate veterinary help.
Only the female black widow is toxic. This spiders venom is in its salivary glands which are emptied during the bite. Sometimes a spider can bite its victim, and not empty the glands, so it can be possible that the animal did not get spider bite poisoning. Most bites occur during the summer months and in the fields during agricultural work.
Wheat fields are an important habitat of this spider, and during harvest their nests are destroyed. Also, this spider can be found in sheds, wood sheds, abandoned barns. The Black widow spider is not aggressive, but it will bite if it feels threatened somehow.
The bite spot in dogs is usually their muzzle, especially among the curious ones that explore with their nose, and then accidentally come upon a black widows nest. The Black widow venom contains a number of toxic substances, and one of its components is neurotoxin. The bite itself is not painful, so the owners of dogs and cats hardly ever notice that their pet had been in contact with a poisonous spider. Unlike the turbulent reaction to a painful bee sting or a snake bite, an animal bitten by the Black widow shows no reactions at all.
In case of a Black widow bite the signs of intoxication will appear within an hour. People describe symptoms such as severe pain in the regional lymph nodes, and the bite site looks reddish and swollen.
After several hours the bite spot takes the form of a typical bluish coin circle, which can be easily missed in animals because of their fur. It is also hard to recognize when the animal is in pain, but the main symptom is definitely a distinct discomfort and sometimes painful whimper.