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Spider Bites Suck

  1. Feb 26, 2007 #1
    So a few days ago I had a little bite on my leg that I thought was from a mosquito, and I didn't think much of it. Over the past couple days, the bite has grown into this ulcer with an area of redness maybe 5 inches in diamater. And it really, really hurts when I stand up. I don't have any other symptoms, but I'm going to the doctor tomorrow so they can give me antibiotics to prevent a secondary infection.

    So, in summary, spider bites suck... :frown:
     
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  3. Feb 26, 2007 #2

    Moonbear

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    What's with all the spider bites lately? I never knew anyone who had a spider bite before, and suddenly, it seems like several people in a very short time are reporting spider bites here. What are you all doing to tick off the spiders? :eek:
     
  4. Feb 26, 2007 #3

    Evo

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    That sounds quite serious. Spiders like the brown recluse inject a venom that causes necrosis of the tissue around the bite. "The lesion from a brown recluse spider bite is a dry, blue-gray or blue-white, irregular sinking patch with ragged edges and surrounding redness."

    These links show the bites.

    http://lancaster.unl.edu/enviro/Images/Insects/recbite.jpg

    http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/hardin/md/dermatlas/brownrecluse.html
     
  5. Feb 26, 2007 #4
    I'm pretty sure it's actually a hobo spider bite, considering I killed one that was hanging around my computer desk a couple days ago. It could be something else though, who knows, that's why I'm going to the doctor tomorrow (They were "too busy" to see me today, lousy healthcare system!).
     
  6. Feb 26, 2007 #5

    Evo

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    The hobo and recluse have very similar bite wounds, so yes, it could be a hobo.
     
  7. Feb 26, 2007 #6

    Astronuc

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    If one thought that it was a mosquito bite, how does one know it is a spider bite.

    Based on the ulceration, it sounded to me like a bite from a brown recluse as Evo mentioned. Certainly cellular necrosis and subsequent bacterial infection by staphlococcus or streptococcus can be a significant problem.

    Brown Recluse Spider - http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2061.html [Broken]

    but on that page there is reference to an AMA article that argues that bites are often misdiagnosed as being caused by a brown recluse.

    Convenient culprit: Myths surround the brown recluse spider
    http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2002/08/05/hlsa0805.htm [Broken]

    I guess go with what your doctor recommends.

    Keep the wound clean.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  8. Feb 26, 2007 #7

    Moonbear

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    It could also be an infected mosquito bite, especially if you were scratching it.
     
  9. Feb 26, 2007 #8
    Nah, I don't scratch bites. The description for the hobo spider bite symptoms match mine pretty closely:

    "Typically, when venom is injected, the victim will experience an immediate redness which develops around the bite then begins to disappear within a few hours. Very often, for the first 24 hours, the bite appears to be no worse than that of a mosquito; then it begins to blister in the center. Within 24 to 36 hours the blister breaks open, leaving an open, oozing ulceration."

    That and I killed a hobo spider. At least I think it was a hobo, it wasn't dressed in the finery typical of other spiders.
     
  10. Mar 16, 2007 #9
    Here's one for you

    My 11 year old daughter was bitten by "something" 5 times on January 7, 2007. After 5 doctors, including ER because she could not breath and her ankle was swollen to the size of a softball, 2 pediatricans, dermatologist and neurologist (who referred her to PT 3 X per week), we are at an accupuncurist. 8 weeks and she still cannot walk and no one knows why...

    Classic signs of black widow but since we did not have the bugger, no one will commit to the widow. Sad case, neurologist told me she maynever walk again - BS... still looking for answers.
     
  11. Mar 16, 2007 #10

    Moonbear

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    Why dermatologists and neurologists? If she had difficulty breathing and an obviously swollen foot, I'd have her seeing an allergist. That sounds like she had a major allergic reaction to something.

    When you say she can't walk, you mean in terms of bearing weight on the bad foot/ankle, or did the toxin travel further up her leg and cause nerve damage there too? It may still be too painful to walk on, or if she has lost sensation, she will need to learn to walk without sensation (and will certainly have a limp or other problem with her gait), but she can learn to compensate as long as her leg above the knee is functional.
     
  12. Mar 16, 2007 #11
    Spider bite

    It's a weird deal - around the ankle, skin area is hyper-sensative and she says when she tries to move it (has 1/2 inch range of motion - up from 1/8th) she says it feels like the bones hurt. The MRI showed nothing. Had not thought about an allergist. It was obviously an allergic reaction but then again 5 distinct bites with fang marks (possibly 7) - the other two were just red bumps without fangs. We are now 9 weeks out and her skin is still discolored (blueish) and you can see the bite mark areas, the skin looks like someone who has been on prendisone for a long time, kind of thin and mottelled (sp). I just don't know where to turn.:cry: :cry:
     
  13. Mar 16, 2007 #12
    The effects of BW venom, when not fatal, I believed were reversible. it does sound allergic in ways, but also similar to paralytic lice, tho those effects are rapidly reversible on removal. Theres a venomologist on TV science shows like discovery and science whose name I can't recall, but he's the expert if I understand correctly.
     
  14. Mar 16, 2007 #13

    Moonbear

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    The guy on Venom ER? :biggrin: I don't remember his name either.

    I have a friend who was bitten by a black widow, and while her foot swelled up horribly and took a long time to heal, there were no breathing problems associated with it, and no permanent damage.

    Have you tried something as simple as antihistamines? I would assume that would have been the treatment of first choice with something seemingly allergic in nature, but they might have been misled thinking it was all due to venom (it of course could be an allergic reaction to a venom, but also could be an allergic reaction to something usually more innocuous, like a fly bite). If nothing else is working well, and you haven't tried it yet, ask your doctor if some bendryl (or the generic equivalent) would be okay to take.
     
  15. Mar 16, 2007 #14
    could do no harm, my best guess being a shrink (and therefore immediately suspect re any medical opinion), is that the bite set up an auto immune process. I'm guessing even steroids have been tried w/o avail. Thats why a consultation with a venomologist is like ly the best path to an answer, if one is even forthcoming.
     
  16. Mar 16, 2007 #15
    If you don't like poisonous biting critters, don't move to Arizona. We got all kinds of those things around here. One colleague of mine was stung by a scorpion in bed. What a surprise that must have been.
     
  17. Mar 16, 2007 #16

    Moonbear

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    Hmm...I'd think that by 9 weeks out, it's no longer a direct effect of the venom, if that's what it was in the first place, but more that there's tissue damage that needs time to heal now. Sounds like a long time to still be bluish, but maybe it was just that badly damaged that there's still bruising. Have they checked the blood flow in her ankle? If a blood vessel was compromised, the lack of circulation could be causing the pain and discoloration.

    When you say it looks discolored like someone on prednisone...has she been on prednisone, or it reminds you of someone else you've seen on it? If it is an immune reaction gone haywire, prednisone would be something to try for it. But, if her circulation isn't normal there due to all the swelling, it also might take a direct injection at the site of the injury (which would be very painful, but if it fixes the problem, might be worth it).

    Of course, some of it may just be similar to the pain of a sprained ankle, where the swelling is just putting pressure on the nerves in the ankle and making it feel worse, and just needs time for the swelling to go down on its own. Does she have feeling in all her toes (no numb spots on any of them)? If so, then it's not likely nerve damage, and just soft tissue damage.

    Oh, and yes, I should point out, I'm not an MD, so I'm just thinking through the anatomy and physiology here to suggest some ideas to pursue with her doctors, but this shouldn't be taken as medical advice.

    I'd avoid the acupuncture though. If there's already an inflammatory reaction going on, that might only flare it up worse.

    Another possibility is that the lymphatic drainage is impaired, so the swelling just isn't going down normally.
     
  18. Mar 16, 2007 #17
    Scorpions are a great example of venomous insects/arachnoids. They are hitchhikers, shadowy creatures, whose members can kill. Don't rely on this as medical advice, but in general the smaller the claw, the more venemous the attack. Obvious from Darwinian perspective.
     
  19. Mar 16, 2007 #18

    Evo

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    Moonbear raises excellent questions. If I were you I would SCREAM RANT AND RAVE until someone found an answer.

    My oldest daughter was stricken by small white scars appearing over most of her body when she was a small child. The leading medical university had a conference where 70 of the world's top specialists examined her and had no diagnosis. A couple said it was "spontaneous" scarring from chicken pox which she had seven years prior to the scars appearing. I asked them to explain how scarring could be delayed seven years, none answered. Morons.
     
  20. Mar 17, 2007 #19
    I agree with Evo--in this case most decidedly. Most venoms whether neurotoxic, hemotoxic ( can cause easy bruising) or whatever, these symptoms should have subsided by now. But venoms are poorly understood. T
     
  21. Mar 17, 2007 #20

    radou

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    Brown recluse spider bites are GROSS. I'm truly glad such creatures don't exist in the place where I live.
     
  22. Mar 17, 2007 #21
    Thank you for the thoughts and suggestions. We have not had the blood flow checked. I will pursue that. About the prednisone, she was given a five day dose on January 8th. My grandmother was on pred. for the last year or so of her life and she developed the thin skin syndrome that can be associated.

    We did use benadryl for about a week as well as albuteral breathing treatments for 5 days every 3-4 hours or as needed to get her lungs functioning. Prediatrician gave me two epi pens in case her lungs shut down completely.

    The overall swelling is pretty much gone now and the ankle itself looks normal size with the exception of the achilles(sp) tendon. The tendon itself is swollen, probably double the size of the tendon on her left ankle which is weird. The MRI did not show anything with the bones.

    The latest suggestion from the neurologist is to do a nerve block to the ankle area which I am a bit reluctant to do at this point.

    The acupuncture seems to be the only thing that gives relief. I am a very fact based person so the whole idea that there are points in the ears and feet that directly impact other areas of the body is a bit difficult to swallow. I understand that it has been used for many many years but still... The interesting piece is that she (the acupuncturist) put these tiny pressure point beads in my daughter's left ear. She explained that the left ear impacts the right side of the body and visa versa. Anyway - these beads, and they are teeny tiny are attached with something like a heavy duty bandaid. When she pressed them into her ear, Jamee (that's my daugher) yelled out - ow, my ankle. She whimpered for about 5 minutes that her ankle was throbbing and the the pain settled down. These beads stay in her ear and if she feels major pain, like when the physycal therapist moves her ankle, she is to press the beads. She is still in tears at PT but when it is over she is able to return to school and function somewhat normally for the rest of the day.

    I am writing to a couple of published research doctors, one at Ohio State University and one at Memorial Medical Center in New Mexico. They have both written articles on Black Widow bites and their venom, to see if they have any suggestions. (hopefully they willl respond)
     
  23. Mar 17, 2007 #22

    Astronuc

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    Don't know if this is any help, but

    http://kaston.transy.edu/widow.html[/URL]

    It would seem one needs the right kind of toxicologist, which makes me think of DocToxyn, wherever he is these days.

    The black widow's versatile venom
    [URL]http://www.nature.com/nsmb/journal/v7/n1/full/nsb0100_3.html[/URL]

    As much as I hate to use Wikipedia, it does seem to have some useful information - [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latrotoxin[/url]

    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_widow_spider#Components_and_effects[/url]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  24. Mar 17, 2007 #23
    Interesting re the acupuncture. I used to be highly skeptical of such notions until I met a man who was a master of chi (qi).

    A five day dose of prednisone is unlikely to cause any long term effects sush as thin skin, etc. I hope you will all keep us informed of your daughter's progress and any info re this mysterious ailment. It sounds like possibly a form of tendonitis at this point and I believe that she will eventually heal.

    http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/sportsmedicine/a/tendonitis_2.htm
     
  25. Mar 17, 2007 #24

    Moonbear

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    I think the acupuncture at the ear thing is more likely providing a distraction and perhaps helping psychologically to give her some way to feel like she has control of the pain even if she really doesn't, which just might help her tolerate getting through it better. There's no reason to think there would be any other way something in the ear could affect the ankle. It's certainly not going to cure a damaged tendon.

    If it seems it's primarily the achilles tendon that's still swollen, and the rest is getting better, then maybe it's time to see a podiatrist...someone who knows how to treat tendonitis and knows the foot really well. It may be that the tendons are what are still inflamed, or that there is some scarring or swelling of the aponeuroses (connective tissue "sheath") that the tendons and nerves pass through into the foot that is causing the problems (sort of a foot equivalent of carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist).

    Of course, we also can't exclude the possibility that it's just going to be a slow recovery due to the extent of damage caused by a combination of a toxin and allergic reaction to the toxin. Ankles and wrists do always seem to take a long time to fully return to normal function after injury.
     
  26. Mar 17, 2007 #25

    Mk

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    I second Moonbear for emphasis; plus, it's a waste of money.
     
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