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How to medically treat a dog bite injury

Whether you love dogs or not, you may be the victim of a dog bite at some point in your life. Dogs bite approximately 4.7 million people in the U.S. each year. You may be playing with a dog when something goes wrong or get attacked without warning while walking.

Dog bites can be serious if not treated properly. You may develop a severe infection. Here are some tips for caring for your dog bite injury.

At-home treatments

Follow these steps as soon as possible after a dog bite:

  • Stop the bleeding by placing a clean towel over the bite.
  • Carefully wash your wound with warm water and mild soap.
  • Elevate the injured area.
  • Apply an antibiotic cream to your wound, if possible.
  • Wrap your wound with a sterile bandage.
  • Wash your wound and change the bandage several times a day.

Keep an eye out for any symptoms of an infection, including swelling, fever, increased pain and redness.

Doctor treatments

You should set up an appointment with your doctor, an urgent care facility or emergency room as quickly as you can, depending on the severity of the injury. Here is what your doctor may do to diagnose and treat your dog bite injury:

  • Examine the wound to determine whether you suffered any damage to your nerves, tendons, muscles or bones
  • Clean the wound to remove any bacteria, dirt and dead tissue
  • Suture the wound to reduce scarring
  • Prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection

The exact treatment may vary, but this is what you can generally expect to occur.

Getting compensation

Physical recovery is not the only important issue after suffering a dog bite. You may also be able to pursue legal action against the owner. Filing a dog bite claim may lead to you receiving money to cover your expenses, including hospital visits, doctor appointments, prescription costs and transportation.

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