Monday, August 14, 2006

Spiders

Today, one of my natural insect control bit the wrong thing. I had to send The Pink Panther for a break while helping Princess with a troubling bit of school. He went out and started playing in a pile of ancient bricks we have been saving for a project. He was bitten by a poisonous spider. We assume it was a black widow, but he didn't see it and we can't find it.

I called him back to school. He came in and started complaining about his arm hurting. I looked and saw what looked like a wasp sting only larger with two marks. I got the beef tenderizer out and made a paste and applied it. I still didn't realize it was a spider. He, then, started saying he didn't feel well. He was light headed and nauseated. I started to realize what was going on and went for the Benydrl. By the time I got back with it his small spot was a blister. I spooned in a mega serving of Benydrl and went for the phone.

By the time I had warned the doctor we were on our way, Pink Panther was feeling better. It's a long way to the doctor, so regardless of how he was feeling at that moment we were going. We drove an hour and fifteen minutes. Our wonderful older doctor said that this was the first real spider bite he had seen. He said many people walk in with a suspected bite, but none were the real McCoy. He also said that unless Pink Panther had a life threatening reaction, which he has not, the anti-venom is too dangerous since it is a product using horse antibodies. He also said that no one dies of spider bites unless there are other extenuating circumstances.

The Pink Panther has an amazing immune system. He reacts to little. Now that the sun has gone down and the doctor is miles away, his stomach is cramping and his arm is stiffening. I am just a little nervous even though the doctor assured us that if a serious reaction was going to occur it would have started. Stomach cramping and the wilting skin is scary enough.

10 comments:

Krisann said...

Wow, how scary!

Please keep a close eye on the bite area. If it starts to turn black or brown or flake off you need to get it checked again because it could be a brown recluse bite.

Black widows don't generally bite unless they are bothered, the brown recluse on the other hand is much more agressive and will attack if it feels threatened.

Recluse bites need extra medical care because the poison keeps killing the surrounding tissue until it is surgically removed.

See http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2061.html:

"Bite Symptoms
The physical reaction to a brown recluse spider bite depends on the amount of venom injected and an individual's sensitivity to it. Some people are unaffected by a bite, whereas others experience immediate or delayed effects as the venom kills the tissues (necrosis) at the site of the bite. Many brown recluse bites cause just a little red mark that heals without event. The vast majority of brown recluse bites heal without severe scarring (http://spiders.ucr.edu/avoidbites.html).

Initially, the bite may feel like a pinprick or go unnoticed. Some may not be aware of the bite for 2 to 8 hours. Others feel a stinging sensation followed by intense pain. Infrequently, some victims experience general systemic reactions that may include restlessness, generalized itching, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or shock. A small white blister usually initially rises at the bite site surrounded by a swollen area. The affected area enlarges and becomes red, and the tissue is hard to the touch for some time. 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--termed the "red, white, and blue sign." The lesion usually is 1½ inches by 2¾ inches or smaller. Characteristics of a bite are further discussed at http://www.amednews.com/free/hlsa0805.

The bite of the brown recluse spider can result in a painful, deep wound that takes a long time to heal. Fatalities are extremely rare, but bites are most dangerous to young children, the elderly, and those in poor physical condition. When there is a severe reaction to the bite, the site can erupt into a "volcano lesion" (a hole in the flesh due to damaged, gangrenous tissue). The open wound may range from the size of an adult's thumbnail to the span of a hand. The dead tissue gradually sloughs away, exposing underlying tissues. The sunken, ulcerating sore may heal slowly up to 6 to 8 weeks. Full recovery may take several months and scarring may remain.

It is difficult for a physician to accurately diagnose a "brown recluse bite" based simply on wound characteristics. It is absolutely necessary to have the spider for a positive identification. Necrotic wounds can result from a variety of agents such as bacteria (Staphylococcus, "flesh-eating" Streptococcus, etc.), viruses, fungi, and arthropods (non-recluse spiders, centipedes, mites, ticks, wasps, bedbugs, kissing bugs, biting flies, etc.). Necrotic conditions also can be caused by vascular and lymphatic disorders, drug reactions, underlying diseases states, and a variety of other agents. An annotated list of conditions that could be mistaken for a brown recluse spider bite is available at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2002/08/05/hlsa0805.htm. Misdiagnosis of lesions as brown recluse bites can delay appropriate care."

I hope that is helpful. I will say some prayers for you and Pink Panther.

Blessings,
Krisann

Henry Cate said...

I hope he gets better and sleeps well through the night.

Frankie said...

Oh gosh, how scary! Keep us posted, please. He'll be in my thoughts and prayers (yes, I do pray.)

wisteria said...

Krisann, What a pile of information! Thanks.
Henry and Frankie, Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! He seems fine this morning. His arm still looks tender. We will keep and eye on it and run for doctor if anything changes.

Mother Crone's Homeschool said...

Oh my! That is very frightening! It is very scary how something so small can cause so much damage. I will be praying for you all. Waiting for the note that he is jumping off the walls again!

zilla said...

Oh, sweet Jesus! And thank goodness you updated that the Panther is doing okay so far. I know you'll keep an eye on it. You are so strong in your resolve to co-exist peacefully and non-toxically with nature. (I'd probably be evacuating the area and poisoning everything in sight.)

Keeping a good thought for the boy.

Susan said...

Wisteria, my word. Scary. Glad your son is better today.

mull-berry said...

Glad that the PP is okay ... what a fright!

Hornblower said...

holy cow - keep us updated. Hope he heals quickly.

wisteria said...

Thanks, again, everyone!!