Treating Dog Bites at Home | Scott Goodwin Law

Treating Dog Bites at Home

by / Wednesday, 13 July 2022 / Published in Dog Bites
A dog bites a person's hand.

Given how popular dogs are as pets in the United States, dog bites are an extremely common occurrence. It’s estimated that about 4.5 million dog bites occur in the US each year and over 800,000 of those bites require medical attention. That works out to approximately 1 in 5 dog bites requiring medical attention. 

Like many other types of injuries, dog bites can range significantly in severity. The numbers show that not all dog bites are severe enough to send victims to an emergency room for treatment. If you’re familiar with the dog or can find its owner to learn about the dog’s medical history and the bite hasn’t broken the skin, only creates superficial wounds, or bleeding is minor and can be controlled quickly, you likely won’t need medical treatment. If a dog bite doesn’t seem to be severe enough to see a doctor over, how can you treat it at home?

Wash the Bite Area

One of the most common complications of dog bites is infection, which is why it’s so important to start by washing the area where the dog bite occurred with soap and water. 

Apply a Bandage

If bleeding is occurring, apply a sterile bandage after washing the bite wound and put pressure on the site. Applying an antibiotic cream or ointment is also a good idea as a way to further reduce the risk of developing an infection. Continue changing the bandage on a regular basis until the site is healed. 

Elevate the Injury

As you recover, you may want to keep the injured area of your body elevated. In some cases, dog bite injuries can result in swelling and keeping the injured area elevated can help prevent that from happening. 

Dealing With Pain

If you’re experiencing any pain after a minor dog bite, simple over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and aspirin can help. 

Monitor Your Injury

In the best case scenario, following the above steps will help you fully recover without any problems. But it’s still important to keep an eye on the bite area in the days following the bite to make sure there aren’t any signs of infections. Be sure to watch for things like redness, swelling, pus, developing a fever or feeling warmth around the injury. If you start seeing signs of an infection, see a medical professional for help as soon as possible. 

Contact a Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer

Sometimes, what seems like a minor injury at first ends up being something more serious. If you were attacked by a dog and developed significant injuries as a result, contact a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. Speaking to a lawyer will give you a chance to get answers to all of your questions and learn more about your legal options. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to speak to a lawyer experienced in handling dog bite cases in the state of Michigan. Contact us today to get started.