How To Treat Brown Recluse Spider Bite on Dog 

No one wants their furry friend to suffer from a spider bite, especially a brown recluse spider. While this type of spider bite is rare in dogs, it can happen and knowing how to get the best care for your furry friend is essential to get them back on their feet as soon as possible. Continue reading below to learn about brown recluse spiders and appropriate treatment options for a bite on dogs, so you’ll know exactly how to handle any potential incidents in the future and protect your beloved pet when the unexpected happens! 

Brown Recluse Spider 

The brown recluse spider is one of three spiders in North America whose bite is considered a medical emergency. These spiders are primarily found throughout the southern Midwest region of the US. It’s less common, but they can reside in the southern states as well. This spider has a violin shaped body and can range in many shades of brown. In adulthood, they can reach between 8-13 mm in length and their long legs can reach 20-30 mm in length. Their venom is a mix of phospholipases and proteases, which causes severe clinical signs. Unfortunately, there is a huge variability of the strength of the venom, so it’s hard to say how a bitten animal may be affected.  

Symptoms of Brown Recluse Spider Bite 

If your pup was bitten by a brown recluse spider, they could experience symptoms of poisoning. Potential clinical signs 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 

Initially, the bite may not be painful, and symptoms of poisoning will not show right away. Over time, symptoms will develop and worsen significantly if treatment is not sought out. 


If your dog has been bitten by a brown recluse spider, you must contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 right away for life-saving treatment advice. Take your dog to the animal hospital so they can receive treatment. Unfortunately, the is no specific antivenom available for this spider. Your veterinarian will thoroughly clean the bite area. Antibiotics and pain medication may be administered to ease the pain and symptoms. Specific treatment will depend on your pup’s symptoms. If the poisoning is severe your pup may need to be hospitalized for supportive care and monitoring.