Sometime last night I was bitten by what appeared to be a Hobo spider! I live in Vancouver, British Columbia (Pacific Northwest). At first, the bite didn't hurt too much, but hours later, the punctured site get swollen and redder and redder, and the pain began to increase. Soon a blister formed around it.

Now the redness has radiated and a line stems from it continuing down my body. The blister has since burst and there is a scaley brown ulcer that has emerged. The redness are also dry and flaky and hot to the touch. Also, the pain feels deeper? The bite is on my chest, and it hurts when I breathe.

It's the weekend so the doctor offices are closed, but I'm determined to go to the off-hour clinic tomorrow morning. However, should I be more concerned and go to the ER now? I'm not sure whether I'm under reacting or over-reacting.

  • 4
    For the future, any time you're not sure whether to go to the ER in Canada, some (or maybe all?) provinces have a phone number where you can speak with a qualified nurse and ask. In BC it seems that the phone number is 811 (see healthlinkbc.ca )
    – Eugene O
    Sep 26 '16 at 2:22
  • @EugeneO, thank you so much! I just moved here from the USA and I have no idea how the medical system really works! Thanks so much! This is certainly helpful. In the USA, the cost of going to the ER is almost as terrifying as whatever you're dealing with and I don't think they even have a helpful phone number to help you determine how serious it is! THANKS! As an American, I was worried going to the urgent care clinic would take hours, but I walked right on in. I didn't even sit in a chair to wait. I am very pleased with Canada's healthcare! Sep 26 '16 at 22:28

So I didn't die during the night, but the pain did awake me with a jolt at about 5am, and I went to the Urgent Care Clinic promptly at 6am, and it's a good thing because the inflamed site had grown significantly. The Doctors were able to incise/cut out the bite site and take a syringe and suck out the venom/blister/pus that was festering underneath. They applied antibiotic cream over that and bandaged it up. They swabbed it and are running a culture test on it to know which medications are best to treat this. They think they got all of it, but want to make sure it didn't enter my bloodstream, etc.

Apparently during the fall, the Hobo Spiders are extremely aggressive/active at night as it is their mating season and while their bite is not always venomous (it depends whether they inject it at the time), sometimes it is, and in this case it was. The symptoms of a Hobo Spider bite are akin to a Brown Recluse, although not as a potent. But the wound site does take several months to recover/heal completely and will probably leave a scar.

If the bite is venomous or it just becomes infected, it can become pretty serious, especially for those with poor immune systems.

So just be aware of the Hobo Spider if you are in the Pacific Northwest! Or if you are concerned about any spider bite, just speak to your physician -- don't hesitate.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.