Text Size

 Stay up-to-date with our newsletter. It's free & you'll be able to access our articles, stories, giveaways and savings. We only send you a summary of things you have missed and we never sell your information.

Subscribe Now
  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • All About HorsesAll About Horses

    All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • Traveling with PetsTraveling with Pets

    Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
  • All About CrittersAll About Critters

    All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • All About ReptilesAll About Reptiles

    All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 10 Questions to Ask Before Buying Pet Insurance

    June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day. This year, let’s focus the conversation on our pets.

    Insurance is a hot topic for everyone  these days. Not only do we have to make tough choices for ourselves and our human family, we now have to seriously consider options for out pets medical care. As science and technology improve, so does the care of pets, but these advances are not inexpensive.

    It really shouldn’t be that tough of a question. We insure our homes, our vehicles, our jewelry and even our art. Why wouldn’t we insure our pets to make certain they receive the best care possible? Yet, fewer than 1% of our pets are protected by insurance.

    We know how important it is to make this decision count. That’s why we worked with Pets Best to come up with a list of the top 10 questions you should ask prior to purchasing pet insurance.

    Read More
  • Calmz Anxiety Relief System Helps Pets Stay Calm

    There’s a new option for keeping dogs calm during times of stress (particularly when there's a thunderstorm or fireworks, or when your pets experience separation anxiety). Since it's very new and quite effective, I wanted to let you know about it right away so you can get it ordered before the 4th of July.

    Calmz is an anxiety relief system that is developed by vets for pets. It’s non-invasive, drug-free and effective; so I’m quite excited to be among the first to introduce it. This unique system uses sound, touch, and vibration to help calm pets.

    Here are the details:

    Read More
  • The Nuzzle GPS Tracker Collar for Dogs

    Most GPS trackers for pets that we've seen are designed to be attached to a collar. However, the Nuzzle GPS tracker is a collar in and of itself, which we can really appreciate. This appears to be a durable way to keep track of your pets and stay stylish in the meantime.

    While we have not yet seen the collars ourselves, we wanted to bring them to your attention because ordering it early nets you some pretty slick savings.

    Here is a look at the features, the specs and an overview of the Nuzzle GPS tracking collar.

    Read More
  • Take Your Dog To Work Week

    While we're lucky enough to spend just about every waking with our dogs and cats, we know a lot of you don't have that luxury. Next week, every one will have the opportunity to take their dogs to work - because it's officially "Take Your Dog To Work Week" (#TYDTWW)!

    Having an official week like this is important for corporations, because if it's done correctly, everyone can benefit from having dogs in the workplace. Dogs promote a happier work environment, can keep employees calm just be being around them, and can give everyone a chance to laugh when they may otherwise not do so. We all know how important laughter is in the workplace.

    Today, you should talk to your boss and see what the office policy is on this holiday next week. If they aren't totally sure about allowing this, we have some office antics that can help even the most reluctant boss change their mind...

    Read More
  • TrackR Uses Crowd GPS To Locate Your Pets

    It's tough finding a GPS collar or tag that is small enough for your cat or tiny dog to wear, but the TrackR tag meets that requirement. This tiny device attaches to your pets collar and uses "Crowd Tracking" (more about this below) to locate your lost pet (or luggage or car or anything else).

    The tracking is not as detailed as the standard tracker, but it's new technology. Rather than pinpoint the item, it tells you when you're near it by using "hot" or "cold" cues (which we all remember from our childhood games).

    A 2-way separation alert (when you pet gets too far from your phone) alerts you so you never have to worry about leaving a pet behind.

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Dogs that can't Swim and Some that just aren't very good at it

Summer is officially here in the desert and we have reached temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, so you know Read More

Disaster preparedness with pets

September is National Animal Preparedness Month. Some natural disasters require that you evacuate your entire family, pets included. Wildfires, floods, Read More

Keeping Aquariums Alive During Summer Blackouts

Summer is on the way, and that means possible brown outs (power shortages) and even blackouts (power outages) for most Read More

Keeping Pets Safe from Coyotes

No matter where you live, you’ve likely had to deal with wildlife. Whether its mountain lions and coyotes, or squirrels Read More

10 Ways to Help Cats #AdoptAShelterCatMonth

June is #AdoptAShelterCatMonth and that means it's time to join in the festivities and celebrate all thing cat! We really Read More

Teaching Children to Approach Horses

I have a problem with parents who just allow their kids just run up to strange animals. In fact today, Read More
  • 1

Welcome to PetsWeekly

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

black-widowblack-widowIt’s that time of year again and with all of the recent weather events we’ve had these days, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye out for spider bites on our pets. Spider bites can be very difficult to spot and manage in pets. And unfortunately, pets are also very susceptible to getting bit. Cats in particular can obtain easy access to dark, quiet places that dogs often can’t manage. These are the very places that spiders love to hide.

Unfortunately, cats also have the most intense reactions to these bites. A single bite from a Black Widow can result in death. If you believe your cat (or dog) has been bitten, it’s important to have them treated immediately by a veterinarian. That said, let’s move on to identifying symptoms of a Black Widow bite and why they are so toxic to our four-legged friends.

Identification of Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow spiders are generally about an inch in diameter although they can be smaller or larger. The female (which is also the most poisonous and aggressive) of the species are a very glossy black and have a very distinctive red hourglass pattern on their stomachs as well as a bulbous black abdomen.

Black Widow Habits and Lifestyle

Black Widows prefer to hide in dark crevices during the day. Most active at night, black widows tend to spin very elaborate, “sticky” webs that appear almost overnight. They appear most often in the warm climates of the Southwest, but have been found as far north as Canada and as far East as Florida. You will most often find them in dark garages, door frames and any place that is protected from predators and the elements. While the Black Widow is not typically aggressive, it will bite to protect itself.  The female is particularly given to a nasty bite while the males and juveniles are a bit more protective of their venom and generally are not as aggressive.

The Bite

The toxin that is found in the Black Widow spider is actually a protein known as α-latrotoxin. This protein works with your pet’s nerve endings to create involuntary muscle contractions, a gradually increasing pain, and may cause elevated blood pressure.

What to Look For

Neither you nor your pet may realize that they have even been bitten. Black Widow venom can cause very different responses in pets. Some have an almost immediate reaction with localized swelling, other animals don’t show any symptoms until several hours later when the protein reaches their lymph nodes. There may be no swelling or pain at the actual site of the bite. Its believed that the most severe pain will be realized one to three hours after a bite. Look for the following symptoms in your dog:

  • Restlessness (your pet may have a difficult time getting comfortable)
  • Muscle pain
  • Drooling
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle rigidity (particularly in the abdomen)
  • Limb weakness

Cats show far more severe signs including:

  • Severe pain
  • Drooling
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Antivenin for Black Widow Spiders

:
Antivenns are available for Black Widow bites, but are generally not administered due to the extremely high cost. Most vets are unable to keep an antivenon in stock due to a short shelf life. It is likely that if you choose to have this administered, a veterinarian will need to retrieve it from a human emergency facility.

Is this an emergency?

In Cats: Yes! If you suspect your pet has been bitten by a Black Widow, take your pet immediately to the emergency vet. The toxin in Black Widows is particularly deadly to our feline friends and requires immediate treatment. In Dogs: Contact your vet immediately and discuss options for treatment. If your vet is familiar with your pet, they may ask to see it immediately or they may recommend that you pack the area in ice to reduce inflammation. Only your vet will be able to recommend a course of action.

If you're in doubt as to what type of spider bit your pet, taking them to the veterinarian is the best action. Meanwhile, here's a chart that will help you determine the type of spiders your pets are most likely to run into. 

Other Articles You May Enjoy:

stacymantlestacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


New in Dogs

New in Cats

New in Horses

New in PetsGEEKly

Subscribe to PetsWeekly for the latest pet news, giveaways, and more!    Stay informed!