Unfortunately, man’s best friend can sometimes turn out to be not so friendly. It’s not uncommon for a dog to lash out and bite when a person approaches, no matter how affectionate and social the animal may seem. According to statistics, over 4.5 million Americans experience dog bites every year. Surprisingly, many of these bites come from familiar dogs or family pets. Here are a few tips on how to medically treat dog bites.

The first step in treating a dog bite involves thoroughly cleaning the wound. Wash the wound and the area around the wound for about five to ten minutes with warm water and soap. If the wound site is bleeding, cover it with a clean cloth and apply pressure.

Next, it is recommended that an antibiotic topical cream is applied directly to the wound to prevent and destroy bacteria growth. After applying the antibiotic cream, use a sterile bandage to cover the wounded area and keep the area bandaged until the wound is healed. Monitor the wound daily, and if fever, increased pain or swelling occur, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Although most dogs are wonderful creatures, they can attack without warning. Anyone who has suffered harm from a dog bite, including those whose children were attacked, may have the right to pursue compensation for their pain and suffering. A successful personal injury claim against the dog owner could result in monetary relief to help with medical bills, lost wages from work and other applicable damages under Michigan law. A lawyer who is experienced with these types of cases can carefully provide the needed guidance to someone in the aftermath of such an unfortunate situation.