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Updated -- Spider Bite on dog, I think...who knows

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  • Updated -- Spider Bite on dog, I think...who knows

    **UPDATE** Still not better. Vet now has her on antifungal topical cream, but doesn't know what it is. Anyone got any ideas?

    What do y'all think? Spider bite?


    2 pics- a close up of what looks like the bite, and a picture of the rash on the surrounding area.

    Presented as a hard, skin colored bump that she scratched constantly. Figured it was just a bug bite. Gave her Benadryl for the itching and she boarded at the vet (*I was in a different city for two months and could not go to me regular vet*) for the weekend. They did a scrape and said there was nothing wrong, just a bug bite. Couple weeks later she started scratching again. Back home and I took her to my regular vet who prescribed antibiotics and steroids because now it is a much larger, scabby rash. 5 days of medication later the rash cleared up great to reveal two very obvious black dots on the original hard lump (now a mushy spot, assuming abscess that the antibiotics are helping). So of course now I think it's been a spider bite all along!

    Experience anyone? Treatment? More steroids or back to Benadryl? Does it need to be drained? I called my vet, waiting for her to call back.
    Last edited by SkipChange; Apr. 29, 2013, 10:46 PM.
  • Original Poster

    Vet said continue antibiotics, and agreed Benadryl for the itching would be best. Will follow up once the antibiotics are done.

    Anyone had a spider bite like this? Off and on for close to two months? I want her to stop itching poor thing


    • #3
      What most people thing are spider bites are often the result of some other insect, or skin issues. I mean imagine the size of the spider who'd have fangs that wide apart! Also most spider fangs aren't strong enough to break skin.

      Source: I share an office with a bunch of arachnologists (spider scientists). For a professor who studies spiders: http://arthropodecology.com/2012/02/...s-do-not-bite/

      ETA: Our dog used to get pimples that looked like your dog's "bite" that he found rather itchy. Not saying that's what it is, just that skin issues can be hard to diagnose/pinpoint.
      "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

      Phoenix Animal Rescue


      • Original Poster

        The images are very close up. The entire length from the outside of one dot to the outside of the other dot is ~1.5mm.


        • #5
          Think of the size of the average spider you find in your house. Keep in mind that those two appendages in front of the spider are actually pedipalps, not fangs. Their fangs are closer together than their cephalothorax (head) is wide. Unless you have some gnarly spiders, your eye probably wouldn't be able to distinguish the points. The dots could be blocked pores that resulted from the swelling/abscess.
          "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

          Phoenix Animal Rescue


          • Original Poster

            Rash still isn't better.

            Saw the other vet in our practice today. He was quite puzzled. Said bacterial infection should have gotten better by now with antibiotics and steroids. Doesn't look textbook fungal, but maybe? Trying an antifungal topical cream and following up in 10 days unless it gets worse before then. He does think it probably started with some sort of bug bite or sting. We looked at pictures in his book of rashes and it seemed most similar to a rash caused from toxins (drug or venom). But it's obviously got something more than that going on now.

            If it doesn't get better he said he wants to do a skin biopsy. Might have to remove the whole area. Said maybe mast cell involvement or cutaneous Histiocytomas or who knows!

            Anyone? Thoughts??


            • #7
              It doesn't look like the growth my dog had, and hers wasn't itchy but I would definitely do a skin biopsy. Her growth turned out to be a mast cell tumor and we had been told it was a spider bite or a cyst just a year ago. Just do it and be sure. They can look like almost anything. Good luck.


              • #8
                No real specific ideas but I guess I'd be looking at doing the snap test for lymes and E.
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                • Original Poster

                  It's gotten a little bit better with the Panalog topical ointment, but the rash is still there.

                  I added a photo from today of the rash.

                  How much does a skin biopsy run?
                  Last edited by SkipChange; May. 2, 2013, 01:57 PM.


                  • #10
                    Could it have been a non-venomous snake that bit her? They'll cause infections, even if they aren't poisonous.


                    • #11
                      Hmmm. Not sure how much it will cost. It seems like every time we go to the vet it costs a small fortune. The pathology report on the tumor was $155 just itself. I would think a simple skin biopsy would would be less than that. If it seems to be responding to your current treatment, I wouldn't think watching it a bit more would hurt. You can always do a biopsy if it doesn't clear up in a few weeks.


                      • #12
                        I know this is originally about a dog, but when I got bit by some huge tarantula-like spider in the barn, I looked exactly like that. While it wasn't poisonous, it did a number on my finger. I ended up having to have it lanced a month after the initial bite. It bothered for probably a good three months before it finally started getting better. I don't know if that helps, but my finger looked exactly like the picture of your dog....


                        • Original Poster

                          Pictureonemore- did you do any treatment other than time and the lancing?

                          I think it's too small to be a snake. We definitely have a lot of spiders around the house and barn of all shapes and sizes. Vet said give the Panalog 7-10 days, but bring her in if I think it looks any worse. Probably just going to go ahead and take her in Monday.

                          It waxes and wanes in severity. She's been pretty good about not scratching today, hopefully that's a good sign. This is spoiling her something terrible. She sits by the kitchen counter after she eats her dog food and waits for her Benadryl in a spoonful of peanut butter .


                          • Original Poster

                            My horse's vet looked at it today and was like "that's obviously not any kind of cancer. What'd the culture and cytology come back as?" ...long silence.... "well why didn't they do that?"

                            Said he'd call one of his buddies for me to look at her today, but I think I'll give it through the weekend and take the pup to horse's vet's clinic Monday. He has a large & small animal practice with his wife and he's my favorite vet ever.


                            • #15
                              I was on oral antibiotics for 10 days and had to get another tetanus shot. Apparently spiders can carry that, so they gave me a booster. Before I had it lanced, it got very hard, red, and more swollen than it already was. Total grossness came out of my finger...to this day my left middle finger is noticeably larger than my right. I would encourage at least a culture from your vet. That should at least provide some clue as to the goings on. I hope this helps!