What if My Dog Eats a Spider?
To the vast majority of the population, spiders are creepy, gross and terrifying. Even though most spiders are as harmless as a potato bug, for some reason they freak us out. The fear could stem from the fact that a small percentage of all spiders in the world are actually poisonous and can do us a great deal of harm. In the United States, these would include black and brown widows, hobo spiders and the recluse spiders, to name a few. One bite from any of these spiders and you will have a serious reaction and need immediate medical attention. So now the question is, what about your dog? Yes, dogs get bit by spiders too, but let’s face it, some dogs are kind of dumb and their first instinct is to lap up that poisonous spider. Now what? Will that spider hurt your beloved pet?
How Spider Venom Works
When a venomous spider bites you, their venom is injected into your skin and makes its way to your bloodstream. Once in your bloodstream, the venom is carried to your brain and heart and here is where it can do some serious damage. It causes dizziness, blurred vision, convulsions, difficulty breathing, muscle spasms, fever, chills and many more symptoms because the poison has entered your nervous system and causing this reaction. The tissue around the bite will swell and deteriorate, becoming inflamed and infected.
Knowing this, unless the spider bites your dog in the mouth or esophagus on the way down (which would be quite rare), that venom is not in his bloodstream but now rather in the digestive system. Once inside the stomach, the acidic environment will work to break down that spider and any venom inside. Spider venom is protein based and the dog’s stomach acid will denature those proteins, rendering them harmless.
What to Watch For
If your dog swallows a harmful spider, it doesn’t mean there will be no reaction. It is a good idea to carefully monitor your pet for the next few days to see if there is a reaction. He may have an upset stomach or not seem himself. If in doubt, take him to the vet to have him checked out. Dogs are pretty resilient and unless the spider bit him, he should be just fine. If he starts acting dizzy, disoriented, or having difficulty breathing, get him to a vet ASAP.
Professional Spider Control- putting your Fears to Rest
Pointe Pest Control specializes in spider control and our technicians can safely remove all arachnids from your home. When it comes to spiders however, year round treatments are key to keeping them at bay. Spiders seem to “disappear” when fall comes but that is completely false. They are either hiding, hibernating or have left behind a juicy egg sac full of spiderlings that will hatch in the springtime. Our skilled technicians will find all evidences of spiders and get rid of them so your dog doesn’t make a lunch of them later. Give us a call today!