How to Treat Brown Recluse Spider Bite on a Dog 

The thought of your dog being bitten by a brown recluse spider can send shivers up your spine. It’s not only scary for your pup, but also stressful and daunting for you, their owner. There are steps to take in case this unfortunate event occurs and you can be prepared if your dog encounters a brown recluse spider bite. Read below to learn more about brown recluse spiders, signs to watch out for, and what to do if your dog is bitten. No one wants their dog to be hurt – let’s be sure that we arm ourselves with the right information so we can keep our four-legged pals safe! 

Introduction to the Brown Recluse Spider 

Brown recluse spiders are a type of venomous spider found in North America. These spiders are typically light to medium brown in color, with a distinctive dark violin-shaped mark on their back. They are relatively small, with adults measuring 8 to 13 mm in body length. Brown recluse spiders are known for their sequestered nature, preferring dark and undisturbed areas. They will bite if they feel threatened or provoked. Their bite can cause a range of symptoms and the strength of the venom can vary greatly. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if your dog is bitten by a brown recluse spider. 

Symptoms and Effects of Brown Recluse Spider Bite 

Your dog can experience severe symptoms if they are bitten by this spider. At first, the bite might not cause pain, and there won’t be immediate signs of poisoning. However, if left untreated, the symptoms will develop over time and worsen. Common signs of poisoning to watch out for include: 

  • Pain and itching at site of bite 
  • Bulls-eye lesion at site of bite 
  • Fever 
  • Lethargy 
  • Seizures 
  • Low blood pressure 
  • Clotting abnormalities 
  • Organ dysfunction 


If you suspect your dog has been bitten by a brown recluse spider, seek immediate medical attention by calling your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for aid. Take your dog to the veterinary clinic for treatment. Your veterinarian will thoroughly clean the site of the bite. There is no specific antivenom for this type of spider bite, so symptomatic care will be administered. Antibiotics and pain medication will be given to ease pain and symptoms. In severe cases, your dog will have to be hospitalized for further care and monitoring.