Pet Care Tips to Improve Pet Health and Quality of Life

Charcoal for Spider Bites
Posted by Tina (Mabank, Tx) on 07/20/2011

My dog, lab mix, got bit by a spider. I was not sure what kind of spider but it swelled up within 6 hours. I would not have even seen the bite if it had not been for the bloodish/pus spot on his back. It had 2 distinct puncture wounds and there was a red ring, discolored skin where the punctures were, his hair fell out around the site and it was seeping a kind of pus/blood discharge. It was hot to the touch and ALL kinds of pus came out of it when I tried to apply a compress to it. Needless to say, I freaked out! Just so many things went through my head... Can't afford a vet, would my dog die?, how could I help him, how long ago did he get this bite? etc. , etc...

First I tried to wash the wound out with peroxide and some antibiotic ointment. Probably NOT a good idea because I didn't want the bite to be sealed up and was not sure how the peoxide would affect the poison. Then I thought about what I had on hand here at the house. I mixed up a saltwater solution and washed the wound. I tried to get the saltwater in the puncture holes. Then I grabbed a box of baking soda and added a few drops of water to make it pasty. I applied this over the wound and covered the area around the wound. Next I got on the internet and scanned vet sites, spider sites, just ANYWHERE for a picture to help me identify WHAT had bit him.

Next, I got on EC and started scanning everything I could find about spider bites. I found the charcoal post and thought it may be worth a try. I went to Walmart and in the pet section they have activated charcoal for your fish tank. Comes in a large plastic jar. (asked the pharmacist about charcoal but they only had some capsules. ) I took some charcoal, about a tsp. , crushed it and added a few drops of water, and applied it directly over the wound. It seemed to stay on pretty good. I thought it might fall off but it didn't. I left it on for a day and when I went to check it and change the charcoal I found the wound had formed some kind of scab with the charcoal. It seemed bonded with it and I didn't want to tear it off, so I left it on. This was 48 hours after the bite and I could see the red ring was gone, the swelling was gone, and the wound area seemed to be much smaller. The next day the scab seemed like it was hardened and smaller. By the evening it had fell off and there was no swelling, no redness, no discharge, in fact, there were NO HOLES either. It was almost like he had not been bit! Like it had totally healed up under the charcoal and was gone. Total time from finding bite to scab falling off was three 1/2 days.

I am so glad that I found this site and so glad that my dog is okay! I still don't know what bit him, but it was just wonderful to have him healed up and alive. I hope this helps someone else. If I had to do it over, I would probably remove the scab and add fresh charcoal to the wound daily. As this was my first time dealing with spider bites, and as the charcoal was working so well, I was hesitant to mess with the process. I also live rurally and don't have access to a GNC or health food store, so Walmart pet section had to be the choice. Good luck to all....