Patient Comments: Spider Bites - Type of Spider and Reaction

What type of spider bit you, and did you have a reaction?

Comment from: Dahelp, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 13

I was bitten yesterday on the inside of my left leg. It is red and circular, blackish red in the middle, and hard as a golf ball but bigger than the palm of my hand. It is hurting worse each hour. It feels like it is on fire, blistering around center. Cortisone and antibiotic cream will not help and aspirin is not helping. My muscles in my shoulder hurting and can't let clothes touch it.

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Comment from: Bobbie, 75 or over Female Published: August 27

I was bitten by a brown recluse spider in 1973 on my left outside ankle. Five hours later, it began to itch, and later a blister formed. The next day, my ankle and foot turned black, red, green, and blue. The next day, I could not put weight on it, so I went to the doctor. He sent me home to elevate my foot. I got a fever, chills, and threw up. Two days later, I went back to the doctor. He immediately sent me to a surgeon who sent me straight to the hospital. I was there for eight days with my foot elevated and kept wet with a solution. On the eighth day, I was allowed to go home. When I first let my leg hang down from the bed, it hurt much worse than a labor pain. I had a quarter-size hole at my ankle and another down next to my toes. The venom made a trail from the ankle to near the toes. I regularly went to the doctor to examine the holes. I was on crutches for three months. It slowly healed. I had two ulcers at the same spot the spider bit me in 2004 and 2007. Finally in 2007, I had to have my foot reconstructed, and I believe the problems were attributed to the 1973 bite. I am now 78 years old and retired.

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Comment from: MM, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 28

I was bitten by a brown recluse 8 weeks ago while helping an employee doing work under a house. The next morning, I noticed a large "boil" on the back of my thigh. By that afternoon, the entire back of my thigh was red and there was a purple circle about 3 inches in diameter around the "boil". Started treating myself with cold compresses and Motrin for pain and inflammation and circled the purple area with a marker. The next morning, the purple area had grown approximately 1 inch beyond the mark and the "boil" had turned black and was the size of a nickel. Went to my primary care physician who immediately recognized it as a spider bite. (They are common in central Texas and there has been several people bitten in our town). I was then referred to a surgeon who concurred with the diagnosis and was started on Bactrian and Dapsone. The next day, I was admitted to the hospital. The surgeon removed an area of flesh about 3" by 4" and 1" deep. A couple of days afterwards, the wound became very red and hot. A culture was taken and the wound was determined to be infected with MRSA. Stayed in the hospital for a week and received 1.5 grams of Vancomycin every 12 hours. Was released from the hospital and was referred to a wound care specialist. I continued the Vancomycin for 1 more week and had a wound vac on the wound. After about a month of wound vac treatment, the surgeon and the wound care doctor agreed that the infection was gone and the wound could be closed. The surgeon extended the length of the wound to bring the edges together leaving about a 7 inch suture line. 1 week after the closure, the suture line became very red, tender and hot. Another culture was taken and it was determined that it was again infected with MRSA. Was re-admitted to the hospital and started on 3 grams of Vancomycin every 12 hours. After 3 days, the surgeon re-opened two section of the wound to drain the fluid that was underneath. Stayed in the hospital for a week and was released continuing the 3 grams of Vancomycin every 12 hours. It has been 1 week since being released. The surgeon is having the wound cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and packed with Iodoform daily. The area is still tender to the touch however there is no redness. I am now having pain in the muscle and a tendon in the back of my knee. Needless to say, the MRSA infection has been much worse than the original bite, even though the bite was bad enough.

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Comment from: diver_below, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 12

Hi I live in Australia I got bitten by a red back spider which is the same as your black widow on the 1/5/2010. I was going scuba diving at the time when I felt a sudden pain in my wet suit got my friend to squash whatever was biting me and kill it in my wet suit, thought it was a green ant so I didn't really worry about it at the time. As I was in 15 min into the dive I had a really sharp pain in my chest but went away 30 min into the dive felt a bit sick but went away then 50 min into the dive had to get out of the water I was vomiting on the beach went home and fell asleep. I was fine when I woke up went to a friends and I was sick again, light headed and thought I was going to faint and sweats and felt really sick. I went home. At 2 am in the morning I woke up with really bad burning sensation on my back went back to bed went to work the next day. Half way through my shift I collapsed at work got rushed by ambulance to hospital they said I was bitten by a female red back spider or (black widow) 5 times on my back, 10 hours in hospital I was so sick and in so much pain thought I was going to die very painful. The doctor told me all about the antivenin how bad it was and what can happen so I decided not to have it so I went home thought my symptoms would go away. I was so sick for the next 2 days collapsed again rushed to hospital had the antivenin 2 days in hospital when I got released I felt fine but as time went on I had very sharp pains in all my joints bad headaches found out I had a reaction to the antivenin which is serum sickness now I'm on a 7 day tablet of steroids hoping this will get all the pain away for a small spider has one hell of a punch to it.

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Patient Comments

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Spider Bites (Black Widow, Brown Recluse) - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your spider bite?
Spider Bites - Symptoms Question: Please describe your symptoms associated with a spider bite.
Spider Bites - Brown Recluse Question: Have you or someone you know ever been bitten by a brown recluse spider? Please share your story.
Spider Bites - Black Widow Question: Have you or someone you know ever been bitten by a black widow spider? Describe the experience.

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