A woman in Nashville, Tennessee landed in the hospital after her pet rat bit her. The woman, Jessica Qualls, bought the rat from her local PETCO store.
She told NBC 4
that the rat, whose name was Salt, bit her. At first, she didn’t think much of Salt’s “salty” behavior.
But then 10 days later her
left arm became numb. It was after the numbing of her left arm that she got up, took the rat back to PETCO, and checked herself into her local hospital where they told her she has rat bite fever. PETCO Spokesperson Lisa Stark told NBC 4
, “At PETCO, the health and safety of people and pets is always our top priority. We’re aware of this customer’s reported illness. We take her concerns very seriously and we’re conducting a thorough investigation.”
Qualls made it out alive but her pet rat, which she didn’t get from PETCO, wasn’t so lucky. Qualls
told NBC 4 that she took the rat back to PETCO.
She said the folks over at PETCO told her the rat died from natural causes, respiratory issues.
Yup, it sounds like that rat might have been choked to death and then thrown out back or set ablaze in the trash pile. Qualls
says she has an autoimmune disorder which easily could’ve made her situation tragic. Qualls
said to NBC 4, “If I didn’t come to the hospital, where would I be? You know, would I die? I know there are cases where people have died.”
And she’s right. Some folks have gone on due to rat bite fever. One fella by the name of Matthew Wareing
went on after he was bitten by his family’s pet rat Roger. Wareing
was a 36-year-old financial consultant. Like Qualls, it took 10 days for the rat bite fever symptoms to appear. Wareing’s
right arm swelled and his arm had red marks over it. Wareing
didn’t go to the doctor to get care for his treatment and as a result he ended up dying two weeks later from blood poisoning.