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Dr. BJ Hughes
Dr. BJ Hughes, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4794
Experience:  Licensed w/20 years of experience in private practice/teaching. Strong believer in educating owners.
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What are symptoms of brown recluse spider bite in a dog? 2

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What are symptoms of brown recluse spider bite in a dog? 2 days ago, my normally energetic german shepherd mix 3 year old was letargic and and would not eat. We took her to the vet and at first was thought of had eatedn something and her stomach was upset, after a blood test, the vet said her red blood cell count was 22-25 and if it dropped to 13 a blood transfusion would be necessary. She was taken back the next day and kept over night with a IV of vitamin B. WE were given steriods and antibiotics. She will not eat, but she will drink water. There were very small spiders found in her dog house.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Hi there --

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Welcome to Just Answer

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Do you know if there is a problem with blood clotting? or blood loss?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Or is the red blood cell count the only thing that is off in the blood cell count and general blood chemistry?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Generally, spider bites cause local reaction -- black widow spiders cause neurologic issues in some more severe cases.

Customer:

Blood will not clot, red blood cells are being destoyed by liver, vet says liver is destorying red blood cells. Platlets are good.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Ok -- and has a rodent poison been ruled out -- as this is the most common cause for this?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

the next is an autpimmune disease -- which seem to be what they are treating for.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

(sorry - autoimmune)

Customer:

The vet says no poison was detected, but Rowdy got out of her pen 4 days ago and could have gotten into something we don't know about.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Vitamin E is the general treatment for most rodent poisons -- that is why I was wondering abotu this .

Dr. BJ Hughes :

and the other big cause is an autoimmune disease -- which can take a few days to get under control with steorids.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

(steroids)

Customer:

I am still unable to get her to eat, the vet said boiled chicken, but she eats 2 or 3 bites and will not eat anymore, is there anything else I can try to get her to eat?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

So boiled hamburger with cooked white rice -- be sure these are warmed. If you can get a few cans of A/D from your vet -- this is a small can of food that can be trialled and it is used in intensive care cases to get them to eat.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Also the little jars of meat baby food warmed can be helpful -- and you may have to rub a bit on her gums --

Customer:

Thank you for your help. There were spiders found in the top of her dog house, but is inconclusive if brown recluse. No signs of swelling or redness, just thought it was a shot to figure this out.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

There are specific blood tests for autoimmune disease -- but they are not always correct - and are usually sent out and take some time to get back .

Dr. BJ Hughes :

You are most welcome -- the reference to the red blood cell cont getting to 13 and then transfusion is correct.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

I hope this information helps!
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The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian

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