Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
Knowing if a black widow (or other spider) bit Sparky is difficult since the bite wounds of arachnids are very small and not usually visible on examination. The severity of envenomation/bit depends upon several factors including the species, size, and age of the dog. The good news is dogs are relatively resistant to the effects of the venom. However, that being said, she is a small dog and if this was an older, larger spider then she might experience some symptoms.
What to watch for that would means she must be examined by a veterinarian on emergency? Symptoms generally appear within eight hours and can include regional loss of sensation or pain at the bite site, muscle fasciculations/trembling, restlessness, and respiratory distress. The hallmark sign of this particular envenomation is abdomina/stomach rigidity without tenderness. Rarely we may observe facial swelling, rapid heart rate, seizures, or muscle rigidity.
What to do at home? The benadryl was good (want to confirm your dose was 1mg per pound). But if any of those other signs are seen, then there is nothing over-the-counter that you can give. This means she has to be seen.
If she goes 12-24 hours without any problems, then she is probably going to be fine, and this may not have been a venomous spider. However, monitor the bite area and if there is pain, discoloration, or erosion, then have this examined right away.
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