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Keywords:

  • dermonecrotic;
  • Loxosceles;
  • matrix metalloproteinases;
  • sphingomyelinase D

Abstract

Objective – To provide a comprehensive review of relevant literature regarding the brown recluse spider (BRS) and to define those criteria that must be satisfied before making a diagnosis of brown recluse envenomation.

Etiology – The complex venom of the BRS contains sphingomyelinase D, which is capable of producing all the clinical signs in the human and some animal models.

Diagnosis – There is no current commercially available test. In humans there are many proposed guidelines to achieve a definitive diagnosis; however, there are no established guidelines for veterinary patients.

Therapy – Currently, no consensus exists for treatment of BRS envenomation other than supportive care, which includes rest, thorough cleaning of the site, ice, compression, and elevation.

Prognosis – Prognosis varies based on severity of clinical signs and response to supportive care.