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Spider Bites

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Jazil
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Spider Bites

Unread postby Jazil » Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:52 pm

Can anyone please tell me how long after a spider has bitten you does it become nasty? Inflamed? Very sore? What does one do about a spider bite? How does one know which spider has bitten you or even if it is a spider?
Does anyone ever see the "spider" that has meant to have bitten them?
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Unread postby DuQues » Fri Feb 03, 2006 12:02 am

Depends on the spider? I would not like to be bitten by a funnelweb spider (Like a male Atrax robustus). Very deadly if there is no help around...
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Unread postby Jazil » Fri Feb 03, 2006 12:11 am

Dont think this is a "deadly" spider bite, but certainly quite nasty, will post some pics tomorrow of the area of the bite.... (dont have the pics now as they are on my sons camera........the bite is actually on his 'behind' :roll: ) We are all foxed by it, including the doctor :shock:
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:22 am

Jazil, its not easy to say, depends on many factors actually. I was in std.7 when I got nailed by a violin spider, extremely bad one to get the do from.

I did not even know that I was bitten. On the toe it was. I first thought that it was a mozzie bite as it itched like hell and started getting infected fairly soon after that. I got gangrene in my toe but the worst was when the poison went upwards into my leg and started eating away flesh in my shin and knee. I was as sick as anything. And I have very nice macho scars to brag about. :lol:

The good thing is that after talks that I would lose my foot, it miraculously recovered in such an extend that the definite chance of losing the toe did not even realize. One of my good luck days then. Phew.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:18 am

Jazil wrote:WTM sounds very nasty to me, just glad that you did not loose your toe let alone your leg.......
Now how did you know that it was a "violin" spider?
My son has been on antibiotics, and it is a bit better, but still very red, inflamed and pussy :cry:


Tests revealed that the venom was of that category of spiders and we just happened to find not 1 but several(Believe it or not) violin spiders in our house at that time. Scary stuff!
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Unread postby Snoobab » Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:39 am

You are extremley lucky WTM. Violin spiders are very nasty, I have a friend that was bitten by one and it took +- 6 weeks for him to start feeling only slighty better. He was in bed for 2 weeks. Another nasty one in Gauteng is the sack spider. Because of the fact that they build sacks in sheets/curtains etc they cannont easily move away and therefore tend to rather bite than run.

An interesting point is that an average person who lives to seventy swallows aprox 150 spiders in his/hers sleep in a life time. :shock: Many spiders are smaller than pin heads.

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Unread postby Jazil » Sat Feb 11, 2006 7:26 pm

Ok, having missed a bit of what was said further, I do now have some photo's, but as I said, which has gone missing, they are a bit yukkie if one is squeamish. However I would like some one to tell me if they recognise the look, so will post them and just put the link up...... LL's suggestion, so that those who want to look can, its your choice.

Is that ok?
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Unread postby Jazil » Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:38 pm

This pic is on about day 3
http://static.flickr.com/40/98330199_f8443a7114.jpg

This one is on day 7
http://static.flickr.com/29/98330273_2be6a438dd.jpg

Is it even a spider bite?

A course of two different antibiotics has helped a lot, its still there, with quite a hole, but healing, but still very red, but not too painfull anymore
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Unread postby Jazil » Sat Feb 11, 2006 9:59 pm

LittleLeopard wrote:Wow Jazil, that bite sure looks nasty! :shock: It would be very interesting to find out what kind of spider (or thing) caused that.

Jazil wrote: However I would like some one to tell me if they recognise the look, so will post them and just put the link up...... LL's suggestion, so that those who want to look can, its your choice.

I think bucky suggested the link thing. I was going to try and find you the contact details of the Arachnologist at UCT, but no luck yet. I have sent an e-mail, but no response of any value yet. :?

Sorry it was bucky who suggested the link thing your right, it was you LL for the contact at UCT..... apologies to bucky :redface:

I am not sure of the symptoms TAbs, except for very severe pain and some stiffness I think. Not sure about the nausea. Thank you for that site, am busy looking it up now.
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Unread postby ScorpionKing » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:26 pm

Hi Folks
spiders bites in Southern Africa are very rarely serious. Only bites from our Black button species are potentially life threatening in extreme cases. Note that no one has ever died of a spider bite in southern Africa. When I say this I mean verified proven deaths from spiders. There are many stories out there mostly perpetuated by the media who do no more than desiminate exaggerations to sell newspapers. If it's not juicy enough then they make it so. I've very seldom read am unbiased newspaper article or newsreport on Spider bites or scorpion stings. The interviews that I give for radio always revolve around how venomous these creatures are. Newspaper and Radio people seem to be very ignorant in these areas.

As with bee stings, some people are more suseptable to animal venoms than others. When I get stung by a bee, it's painful for a few minutes and that's it. Other people can die from a bee sting. It's exactly the same for spider and scorpion venoms. Jonno's golden rule no 1: If you are allurgic to bee stings, do not (I repeat, do not!) pick up spiders and scorpions. Just to be on the safe side.

The three medically important spiders in southern Africa are (in order of symptomatic importance) Black Button Spiders (not to be confused with the American Black Widow as they are two different species), Violin Spiders and Sac Spiders. There are no verifiable cases of envenomations from the Six eyed desert Crab Spider although research has proven that they are medically important if you are a rabbit. The victims body mass plays an important factor in the severity of a bite or sting when it comes to neurotoxic venom (Button Spiders). Children are affected far more seriously thatn less say... Jimmy Abbot. Since Jimmy has a highier body mass (much higher). This means you can effectively protect youself from spider bites and scorpion stings by eating more Mcdonalds, although your hair will probably fall out and you'll break out in zits and die of a heart attack!


99% of all spider bite in Gauteng are Sac Spiders not Violin Spiders as is often claimed. Many unknown bites are put down to spiders because the medical profession just does not know what caused them. They produce different kinds of bites which are easily identified. The Violin Spider rarely produces massive tissue damage, mostly localised tissue damage. Of course we only hear about the bites that involve complications such as that woman from Heidelberg who had her arm ampulated 3 years after a spider bite. Serious Button Spider bites are very rare considering their distribution. Mainly in the Western Cape.

We have good medical facilities in southern Africa when it comes to spider and scorpion envenomation. The Tygerberg Hospital in the Cape has done alot of research on animal venoms (snakes, jellyfish, fish, corals, sting rays, etc...) under Dr Gerbus Muller. Antivenom is also available for serious scorpion envenomations :-)

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Re: Spider bites

Unread postby ScorpionKing » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:11 pm

Bites from Violin Spides are very rare in southern Africa. Most "bites" are attributed to spiders even though there is no phsycal evidence to indicate so. In a study of "spider bites" diagnosed by medical doctors, 80% were positively identified by specialists as non spider bites. Hoax emails, misinformation in popular magazines and newspapers continue to spread hearsay.

The Sac spider is the common culprit when it comes to spider bites. Treatment centres on keeping the bite clean and sterile to prevent secondary infection. Local antiseptics and systemic antibiotics are used to promote healing. Surgical cleaning of the wound may prevent the lesion from enlarging. Low doses of dapsone treatment for 4 days may control the size of the lesion. The resulting scar may require reconstructive surgery and skin grafts. Tetanis loxoid booster may be administered.

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Re: Spider bites

Unread postby onewithnature » Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:39 am

Being in the medical profession, I have seen a disproportionate increase in spider bite diagnoses in the last year or so. Probably well over thirty cases in just this area alone! Most of the bites seem to be cytotoxic because many develop ulcers later on. One unfortunate victim has been treated for over 18 months, but the necrotic tissue kept spreading until the hole in his leg was the size of a hand! Probably this was misdiagnosed, or treatment started too late, and infection must have set in too.

Thanks for the wonderful, and no-nonsense, information, ScorpionKing! And a hysterical laughter at your wonderful sense of humour! :clap: :clap: :clap: Everything is very clear and precise. As you say, there have been no direct deaths from spider bites in SA, but indirect deaths do occur from secondary organ failure. Thus people can die from a spider bite if left undiagnosed and untreated. And the problem is indeed that many doctors misdiagnose, meaning that effective treatment begins too late in some cases.

What I was wondering is, are 99% of all bites (from sac spiders) actually cytotoxic? And how come so many more people seem to have been bitten lately - is it encroachment of the spiders into human areas, or are people doing things that are encouraging the bites?
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Re: Spider bites

Unread postby Imberbe » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:25 pm

:hmz: May it not largely be due to the excellent rainy season we have had. Insects in general did well. That would imply an excellent food source for spiders, which would enable more spiders to survive and multiply. :huh:
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Re: Spider bites

Unread postby onewithnature » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:45 am

Most probably the rains; I've seen a large increase in visible spiders in my house (and I DO dust).
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Re: Spider bites

Unread postby onewithnature » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:45 am

Any ideas on how arachniphobia (irrational fear of (big) spiders) can be beaten?
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