What is a Brown Recluse Spider?
A brown recluse spider has a unique appearance.
Brown Recluse pictures demonstrate a violin (fiddle) shape on its back.
Quick care or ER?
A bite from a Brown Recluse spider may cause bleeding disorders and kidney failure.
Given these potential effects, it is best to go the ER
What will your doctor ask?
Your doctor will want to know your symptoms. Remember a symptom is your story. It is the description of your condition to your doctor.
- When were you bitten?
- Where is the bite?
- Are you in pain?
- Do you have a lesion where you were bitten?
- Do you have a fever or chills?
- Have you noticed any rashes?
What will your doctor look for?Your doctor will look for signs. Remember, a sign is an objective finding that a doctor discovers upon examination.
On physical exam, the classic skin lesion is a “Bull’s eye” shape at the site of the bite.
It has also been described as a “volcano” lesion. 10% lead to necrosis.
Knowing that you were bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider, your doctor will want to do blood work since a more serious acute hemolytic reaction may follow. Lab results include a urine study which may show blood.
Since the blood clotting system may be affected, blood work (CBC and PT/PTT) is reasonable to check.
What is your doctor thinking?
Your doctor will create a mental list of possible reasons for your signs and symptoms. this list is called a Differential Diagnosis.
The rash could be from other bleeding disorders that cause platelets dysfunctions.
What is the treatment of Brown Recluse Bites?
Treatment of a Brown Recluse should include Dapsone which is an antibiotic. Another treatment is colchicine which is normally used for gout.
I give my patients a tetanus if it out of date. Pain control is needed for most cases.
It is important to not that there is no anti-venom such as with a Black Widow bite.
How long will you be sick after a Brown Recluse Spider Bite?
For most routine bites, one week of antibiotics and pain control ought to be sufficient.
In the rare instances in which severe bleeding-clotting disorders develop, then specialists will be involved extending the care much longer.
Let me tell you a Story………
One day I found myself serving at a small town that might as well be named “Lettuce-ville.” Everyone in town either picked lettuce, packed lettuce or delivered lettuce. After a long days work, the lettuce workers permeated with the green leafy smell. It was not uncommon for me to walk in their exam rooms and get a large whiff of lettuce smell.When Rosa came to the clinic, I knew she was in the lettuce industry. She had gone to the local high school. Just 10 months prior, she was going to football games with her cousins. Those days seemed so long ago. She was a child then. Her preoccupations were centered around her hair style for the day and her jeans with large tacky rips placed just so.
Today, she sat slumped. Shoulders down. Quiet. Today there is monotony in her life. The monotony of doing the same repetitive motion gradually washed away the youthful spark which had been her trademark. It has been said that you can only go to where the mind can imagine. Somewhere, she got in her mind shrank down into the confines of a packing shed.
Her work is needed. It is safe. It is honest. It is honorable. But I knew she did not want to be there. Once she build her life around getting a check twice a month, returning to school became an impossible dream.
I asked, “So where are your other classmates from high school?”
She said, “A lot of ’em are there at the cooler packing lettuce. We joke with each other saying, ‘Hey, didn’t we dream of working at the cooler?'”. I imagined that they had the same guidance counselor whose office had only one brochure to hand out. It said “Pack Lettuce.”
Rosa continued, “There is no need for us to set up a class reunion. We have one every day at the lunch room.”
I paused. I had to take it all in.
Finally, she showed me her arm. There was a “bulls eye” lesion. Her pain was tolerable but she started getting a purple rash.
I explained to her the bad things that may result from a Brown Recluse Spider bite.
Even though she looked good, I had her go to there ER.
While away, her position on the lettuce-packing line would get filled in by a girl from the next graduating class.
I hope this helps….