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What should you do if a dog bites you?

Dogs are commonly known as man’s best friend, but no one can fully predict how an animal will act in an unfamiliar, threatening situation. Each year, dogs bite around 4.7 million people in America, and almost half of that number is children between five and nine. 

Many of these bites result in injuries that require medical attention, and in the worst-case scenario, a dog bite can lead to a serious disease or death. To protect yourself or a family member after a dog bite, remember these tips.

Seek medical attention

Whether it was a slight nibble or an aggressive tear, you should always seek medical attention after a dog bites you. Infection is common with dog bites, and treatment should start immediately after the incident. Professionals suggest that you seek a doctor or other health care professional within eight hours of the bite. If you have a compromised immune system or diabetes, you should be even more vigilant about getting medical care.

Stop the bleeding

For such small, amiable creatures, dogs can do quite a bit of damage when they put their minds to it. If you are bleeding from a wound, the first thing you want to do is clean it. Wash the area with water and mild soap and use a clean cloth to stop the bleeding as much as possible. If the bleeding is heavy, place pressure over the wound to get it to stop.

Watch for signs of infection

Infection often manifests through increased pain, swelling, redness and even fever. If you notice any of these symptoms after a dog bites you, seek medical help immediately.

Speak to an attorney

If a dog attacks you, leading to mounting medical bills from your treatment, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. Speak to an attorney after you get medical care to determine if your case qualifies.

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