UK Spider bite

Posted , 5 users are following.

We live in the south of England and on Monday 19th Sep 2016 my husband was cutting down a buddleia shrub and noticed that he had been bitten on the wrist, at first he thought it was just a gnat bite that he normally would react to so he took an antihistamine and thought no more of it. Over night the swelling got worse and the bite looked very different from a gnat bite more like a yellow blister, we only had the one antihistime so on Tueday he went to the local shop but they didn't have any so thank goodness he went to the chemist they phoned his GP and he was seen with half an hour. The GP gave him 1000mg of Flucloxacillin immediately then 500mg to take 4 times a day. 1000mg of Co-Codamol 4 times a day. By Wednesday he was in so much pain feeling sick and dizzy, his arm and hand hot and red and there was a red line running up his arm so he went back to the GP and was given Naproxen 500mg 2 times a day, but 20 minutes after taking the Naproxen his throat started to close up the GP said to take anthistimine which helped his throat a little but he then started to cough a lot. Friday he was back at the GPs and by Saturday evening in hospital on a drip.

Although the doctors at the hospital were good and knew it was a spider bite (False window we think) they thought the pain in his hand was gout. they went on to take fluid from the wrist to check for bacterial infection but said no infection or gout crystals were found, and he came home on Sunday. A few days later we got a copy of the letter the hospital sent to our GP  which said that he has cellulitis caused by a spider bite and pus was found in the fluid they took. We've only had these false widow spiders over here for a few years so I don't expect the hospital see's many bites, but we were given no follow up information as to how long the pain and swelling might last or any complications to look out for.

11 days after the bite his fingers are still very stiff and he can't really use his hand there is still a small amout of swelling too, the blister is now more of a scab and does look like it's healing.

He took himself off all the pills as they were making him feel so unwell.

Now he's had cellulitis once can he get it again without even being bitten? 

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    I have only had it once but the swelling is still here now after 16 months, some people have had it lots of times so only time will tell, how he soon recovers.
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  • Posted

    trudy i am no expert and it all depends on the persons condition because whether he will prone to it again   mine as always been same leg which as a lot of probs poor circulation and edmea which allow the cellulitus to get a grip breaks /splits in feet legs are causes so that said you seen yourselves how fast it can go and what you can get withit if not treated asp  if i were you make sure your on top of it   your right about hospital /docs not enough info/follow up with this i keep saying a clinic once a month  to check it out by pepole who know   myself they have put me on iron tabs and talking about b vitamin injections  blood check maybe helpful there are a lot of after effects   with cellulitus  
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    • Posted

      Hello Trudy,

      ?You are lucky in the UK to be seen immediately by your chemist (we in the US call pharmacist.)  At any rate, I think taking yourself off any pills is not a good thing.  If something (Naproxin?) is making him sick (as it does me) I take with food to help.  Yes, you can get it again.  It looked like mine was gone after a visit to my primary physician, but after 45 days and 4 visits later he suggested I see a dermatologist who sent me to a vascular doc.  I ended up finding the best treatment from an infectious disease doctor who, dispite the other docs' opinion, did not think it a bite.  (The origin is a moot point as it is the infection from the Barbara's point.)  All the money, doctors and treatment in the Philadelphia area and it took 3 months to say this, but I am finally walking normally now tho my left foot is still wider which has me in a new size shoe, just on the left.)  I complained that it felt like something remained in the pad of my foot and it was told to me that this may never go away.  This is Stacis.  I am getting relief from a Compression sock tho not to thrilled to be left wide-footed and wearing "old lady" socks, but comfort and health is a new priority.

      The best to you. 


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    • Posted

      I am on naproxen but that is only for arthritis, when I went to the hospital they said there was no sign of a bite so they said I should start straight away on an IV but it was late in the day so they came round to my house in the morning and again at night to give me the IV in my living room, I am allergic to penicillin so had to have an alternative. The redness and heart have not come back but my leg is still swollen.
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  • Posted

    As I understand it cellulitis comes not from the bite itself but from bacteria which is introduced under the skin when the insect punctures the skin. The bacteria then tries to make it's way to the lymph nodes, which shows up as the red streaks. Apparently there are a few types of spider in the UK which will bite if disturbed.

    Some time ago as was bitten on my ankle, possibly by a spider, while gardening and suffered the swelling, redness, blistering and streaks. I also had dizziness, confusion, shivering and hallucinations which seems to happen to some people but not to others.

    I was given Flucloxacillin 500mg and Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg for 2 weeks.  and this mostly cleared up the problem but I still had to rest  a lot, leg elevated for a week or so.  I then got Cellulitis in my other foot. The doctor said that there was no connection and I was only allowed the medication for 1 week, luckily the infection wasn't as bad.  

    My research tells me that we are all exposed to bacterial infection constantly but it only has an effect on us when our bodies' defences are low.  So keeping well and positive, particularly in stressful circumstances is important.  I also try to use insect repellants and stay well covered outdoors, giving any bites a good wash with anti-bacterial liquid. It isn't a good idea to give up half-way through a course of anti-biotics as that helps the bugs to become resistant but then that's easy for me to say as I don't have a bad reaction. 

    Several of my friends have suffered cellulitis in the last few years, some have ended up in hospital on IV drips.  I think it's a growing problem that the medical profession and the NHS haven't woken up to yet.

    Best wishes to all sufferers.


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