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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
on the news today i heard of a guy who died after he was bitten by his childrens rat! his arm swelled and 2 weeks later he died and they couldnt identify the bacteria that was in his system. surely this cant b a common thing? im worried now as i have a nippy rat!!!!!!!
 

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No I've never heard of such a thing. I can't even imagine there being much bacteria in a rat's mouth.

Do you have a news article online about this story?

The worst thing that ever happened to me from a rat bite (And I've only ever had one rat that maliciously bit) is I lost feeling in a small part of one of my fingers once. But it came back after everything healed.
 

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Haha, that sounds silly there is no way a rat bite would do that to you obviously this person got the wound infected or something and even that cant be that major don't worry about it! Most rats don't bite that much anyway your rat will probably grow out of it.
 

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There is such a thing as rat bit fever, but I agree that he probably didn't keep it clean.

Now if it was a wild rat, who's to say what it'd had in its mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
after thinkin about it i thought that perhaps he got some sort of infection and it was blamed on the rat. it says he felt better then got worse, so maybe it was not the bite at all. still, makes me a little wary!
 

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There's really no need to be afraid of rats. This case is the only time I've ever heard of anyone dying from a domesticated rat bite. People are killed by dogs all the time, but we don't freak out about those do we?

The doctor in the article said that they traced the cause back to the rat bite. But they didn't say that he died *because* he was bitten by a rat. He died because he had an open, untreated wound and from an unknown bacteria that entered his bloodstream through the wound, but not necessarily from the rat. To the best of my knowledge, a rat's mouth is fairly clean and doesn't hold many "mystery" bacterias.

Essentially, if even 1% of rat bites were fatal (And I have a feeling the numbers of "fatal" rat bites are more around .0001%), we'd know about it on these forums because quite a few of us have been seriously bitten. But the odds of your rat even breaking skin while biting are seriously low, not to mention dying from it.

My point is there really isn't much to worry about. Rats rarely bite hard enough to break one's skin (Or maliciously bite at all), and even if they do, just go to a doctor if there is any unusual swelling or redness or you are feeling ill.
 

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How sad, the guy had a wife and kids. :(

Sounds like a terrible, freak occurrence for which the rat is an easy ‘scapegoat.’ It’s more dramatic for newspapers to say ‘man killed by rat’ than ‘man dies of infection.’ People are bitten by rats and other rodents all the time and don’t suffer any complications. :?
 

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The truth is cats have the most bacteria in their bite than any other pet. If a cat bites you don't just wash it off, use alot of antiseptic. And if it's a deep bite, go to a doctor.
 

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if thats the case, i should be well and truly dead by now. i get bitten by loco at least once a week, and she usually manages to break the skin. mind you, the bite i got yesterday was my own stupid fault... i forgot to look before sticking my hand in the cage to pat "soot"... turned out it was loco...
 

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I got bit once on a rat's first day home from the store... it was my stupidity of mis-reading his anxiousness as playfulness, but the F'er sure let me know in a language I could understand! The bite was deep, and I had to stop the bleeding with superglue because I got tired of waiting, however, at any sign of infection, I would have gone to a **** doctor, not went la di da hit some meetings and then the pub!

I was mad at him and kindof worried he would be a biter, so I was wary of him at first, but he never did it again and he is the most squishy laprat of the bunch.

I have learned how to read their emotion better... and also have learned that they do have subtle body language that goes beyond the obvious... they really don't want to bite you... it is like a last ditch effort to get you to leave them alone, because, afterall, if they could talk, they would just tell you straight up.

I don't see why any rat would become a biter, when raised properly, and I believe that if a rat does bite you, to not give up on it, for it was probably the language of last resort.

I also do not think that their bite would directly kill a man... I mean their teeth are SHARP!!! and LONG, so when you get bit, you are basically getting a body piercing... for free. Who hasn't heard of an infected piercing gone wrong? I think that is the perspective to take here... ANY piercing of the body, has the potential to become infected, and some people are more prone to infection than others, and in some people, infection can kill faster.

The headline should read: "Man dies from body piercing" because that is basically all it was... and THAT is not unheard of. People are stubborn and ignorant and think that they can fight any kind of problem away like a real man, haha... infection is nothing to screw around with, rat or no rat involved.
 

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I got bit hard at the vets, after she gave Jenner his meds and put him on the table he lunged and bit my finger. It was the worst bite Ive ever had. It completely healed now (I'm still alive BTW). And Jenner? Total sweetheart, he even likes being picked up now that he doesn't have to eat the icky pink stuff any more.

The bite likely allowed for an unrelated infection to enter his body. I work at a pet store and get bit all day long (stupid conures :( ) and Ive never gotten any sort of infection
 

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I'm surprised the one article makes it sound as if the medical profession is shocked or something. It sounds like a typical case of blood poisoning (septicaemia), which IS bacterial, following an animal bite. It often delays in showing symptoms. It's rare when you think of the number of animal bites that occur without it ever happening it, but it happens. In fact, someone on the goosemoose forums had blood poisoning following a rat bite, but she recognized the symptoms and sought medical help (intense intravenous antibiotics). This guy apparently also had the symptoms, but failed to seek medical attention until it was too late.

"Ten days later, after noticing red marks and swelling on his right arm, he called NHS Direct and was told by a nurse to see his GP the next day. Because he had an important meeting, he decided not to follow the advice."

Putting off doing something was his fatal mistake, but it's no big shocker, nor is it the rat's fault.

Bites can cause blood poisoning even after the bite itself has healed. When there's red streaks and swelling following a bite, you NEED to seek help. This can happen with other open wounds as well, not just bites.

I've had multiple severe bites that have been treated at the ER. I'm put on antibiotics after any severe rat bite, because I have a weak immune system. I always think better safe than sorry. I'd NEVER put off the signs of blood poisoning. That's just common sense.

It's sad he died, but he died because he failed to receive medical attention for a life-threatening condition. Time is essential with septicaemia. The articles make it sound as if the rat poisoned him with some strange bacteria. Again... It sounds exactly like any other case. It could have been a cat or dog bite, or some other open wound. Sadly, this is bad PR for rats.
 

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My sister got bit by her rat. All was well until she took her dog for a walk the next day and the leash got caught on her hand and tugged hard on the bite site. That's when her hand swelled up and she had to get very strong antibiotics. But we believe it was not due to the bite but the bacteria on the leash.
Bacteria is everywhere and if a bad one gets inside you via an open wound, of course it's dangerous.
In the article, they have no proof that it's from the rat. They only speculate.
 

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I bet the night of hard drinking in a dirty bar with an open wound did it. do you think alcohal poisoning could have had anything to do with it?
 
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