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Watch out for bites from venomous spiders

Watch out for bites from venomous spiders

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 21/11/2013   Category: Pet Health

A cat has come extremely close to death after a bite from a false widow spider. As seen in the news we are experiencing a rapid increase in the venomous spider, false widow and this is unfortunately having a bad effect on both our health and also our pet’s health.

Hades, the fluffy tabby cat from Dover, Kent was the latest victim to have received a venomous bite from the false widow spider. Being the playful cat that Hades is, he was chasing a spider in the bathroom when her owner Dawn witnessed the spider bite Hades on the face causing Hades to skulk back to his basket.

She said: ‘He’s usually very active and is always out in the garden, but he wasn’t interested in interacting with anybody after the bite’
Dawn noticed Hades had a very tender stomach and a high temperature so made the decision to take him straight to the vets.

The vets couldn’t see a bite from the spider due to the fur on Hades face but after an x-ray it was evident that he had been poisoned from the bite and was severely ill because of it. Hades then spent two days on a drip fighting for his life and has since luckily made a full recovery which landed the owner, Dawn Stephenson with a bill for £700.

The British Veterinary Association has stated that although cases like Hades are rare, pet owners should be aware that there is an increase in venomous spiders and to always be alert, looking out for the signs that your pet is unwell.

A spokesman explained there are certain symptoms all cat and dog owners should be aware of, ‘Lookout for signs such as changes in behaviour, unwillingness to exercise, lethargy, lameness, swelling, loss of appetite and if your pet is showing any of these symptoms – seek veterinary attention as quickly as possible.’

The false widow is the most dangerous spider of the 12 species of biting spiders we have in Britain and cases of people who have been bitten by this spider are increasing. Earlier this month, a rabbit in south Wales was killed by a false widow spider bite.

To ensure your cat or dogs health you should never let your pet play with any insect incase they are poisonous. If you train your dogs not to play with insects then you lessen the chance of them playing with a potentially venomous spider when you are not around. Keep all doors and windows closed when you are not at home to prevent the spiders entering your home. As you cannot prevent where your cat goes, keep a close eye on them and their behaviour after returning from outside. If your cat seems at all different then be prepared to take them to the vet if there behaviour doesn’t change. With venomous bites, speed is of the essence and the quicker you can get your pet to see medical professionals, the higher chance they have of a full recovery.

With the likeliness of the population of false widows set to rise, it is important you keep a closer eye on your pets.