It’s getting chilly out and brown recluse spiders are looking for a warm place to spend the winter. This could mean your barn. Should your horse be bitten by a brown recluse it will require veterinary attention. The venom from the brown recluse is a hemotoxin. A hemotoxin destroys red blood cells and damages tissue. In the case of brown recluse spider bites, the skin becomes necrotic. The skin will first blister, turn black, and then slough off in as little as 24 hours. The venom liquefies any tissue it comes in contact with. Dr. Hoover tells us you are then left to “deal with the aftereffects”.
Should your horse be bitten by a brown recluse, or you suspect they have, contact your veterinarian. The bite is itchy and likely sore. Your horse may want to continually rub it. This can enlarge the area of damaged tissue. Quick treatment can reduce the spread of the venom and help minimize scaring.