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Moncton dog bitten by rat carrying bacteria that can cause fever in humans

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Moncton dog bitten by rodent carrying bacteria causing fever in humans
WATCH: Residents in north Moncton say the rat infestation in their neighbourhood has become a public health risk. One of the rats that bit a family pet repeatedly this week was found to be carrying a bacteria that can cause rat bite fever in humans. Shelley Steeves has more – Oct 6, 2017

Residents in north Moncton say the rat infestation in their neighbourhood has become a public health risk.

Raven Gauthier lives on Martindale Street and said her dog Sky has been bitten repeatedly by the rats that infest her backyard.

“It is becoming a public health concern for humans because, at this point, it does not really matter how anybody keeps their yard, they are breeding and populating,” said Gauthier.

READ MORE: French mayor eats rat in front of cheering residents after losing soccer bet

She had to rush her dog Sky to the vet after she was bitten on the head on Wednesday.

The bites were so deep, her dog required 12 staples to close the wounds.

“(The rats) are at a point that they are not even scared of the population anymore they are coming out through the day,” said Gauthier.

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Dr. Brett Tremble, the veterinarian who treated Sky, said one of the rats that bit the dog was carrying a bacteria that can cause rat bite fever in humans.

“A multi-resistant Steptobacillis which is a bacteria that can be treated but generally requires some pretty fancy antibiotics,” he said.

The injures Sky the dog has received from a run in with rats in Moncton, N.B. Shelley Steeves/Global News

According to the Canadian Centre for Disease Control’s website, rat bite fever can cause fever, rash, chills, headache, vomiting and in rare cases death if left untreated.

Tremble says rats can also carry rabies, leptospirosis and other bacterial infections that can be transmitted to humans through a bite.

People in the neighbourhood say they have been calling on the city to address the rat problem for months.

Gauthier says she fears for the safety of her three children, especially her 15-month-old daughter who she says she now rarely allows outside to play.

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WATCH: ‘Ratzilla is taking over my yard’: Moncton resident calling on the city to rid neighbourhood of rats

Click to play video: '‘Ratzilla is taking over my yard’: Moncton resident calling on the city to rid neighbourhood of rats'
‘Ratzilla is taking over my yard’: Moncton resident calling on the city to rid neighbourhood of rats

Global News reported on the rat infestation in mid-September at which time the City of Moncton acknowledged there is a problem but has yet to reveal if they have a plan to get rid of the rats.

According to city bylaws, it’s up to individual homeowners to conduct their own pest control

But Gauthier says the problem is so out of control and at this point it needs to be addressed by the Department of Health and on a much wider scale by the city.

“It would be nice if the city did something to help the residents and get rid of this problem,” she said.

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Before someone’s child is the next one to suffer a nasty bite, she said.

Paul Bradley, Communication Officer for the New Brunswick Department of Health, stated in an email that rat bite fever is not a disease that is tracked by the province.

“It is rare. It can cause serious human illness. People who are concerned about their health after a bite from an animal should seek medical attention,” Bradley wrote. “As far as what can be done to manage the situation in North Moncton, we recommend you reach out to the municipality.”

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