Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you've been bitten by a spider that you suspect is a black widow or brown recluse, call your primary care doctor or go to an urgent care center. If your doctor has online services, an option may be to email a picture of the spider to your doctor.

What you can do

To help your doctor understand your symptoms and how they might relate to a spider bite, you can:

  • Bring the spider or a photo of the spider with you
  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor

Some basic questions you might want to ask include:

  • If this is a dangerous spider bite, what's the next best step?
  • If this isn't a spider bite, what are possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
  • Do I need any tests?
  • How long will my symptoms last?
  • What is the best course of action?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • What were you doing in the hours before your symptoms started?
  • Have your symptoms gotten worse?
  • Does anything relieve your symptoms or make them worse?
May. 21, 2013

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