Alternate names

Black widow, brown recluse, spider bite

Toxicity to pets

In general, the majority of spiders are considered to be minimally venomous. However, depending on what region in North America you live in, exposure to more poisonous types of spiders exist. The most dangerous? The black widow and brown recluse spider. The female is larger and more venomous than the male. As most people cannot identify (nor safely do so!) spiders, it’s best to prevent pet access to them. If you see your dog or cat playing with a spider, simply remove your pet from the area and monitor him or her for clinical signs. Move the spider to a new, environmentally-friendly location.

Common signs to watch for:

  • Redness to the skin
  • Bite wound
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation to the skin
  • Pain to the touch
  • Warmth or hot feeling to the touch
  • Necrosis of the skin
  • Bruising
  • Vomiting
  • Scabbing of the skin
  • Local itchiness of the skin
  • Organ failure
  • Fever
  • Abnormal clotting
Black Widow Spider

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The content of this page is not veterinary advice. A number of factors (amount of substance ingested, size of the animal, allergies, etc.) determine what is toxic to a particular pet. If you think your pet has eaten something potentially toxic, call Pet Poison Helpline or seek immediate veterinary treatment.