Roof rat injures Phoenix man's dog during scuffle

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Normally, the backyard is the perfect place for Dan Masters to let his two Papillons play.

Until last Wednesday, when a couple of rodents spoiled the fun.

"Right around sunset, our two dogs, Kate and Trooper, ran right over here and saw a roof rat, a very large one, run up the side of the house," Master said.

Nine-year-old Trooper jumped in to attack the roof rat, capturing it in his mouth and killing it, but he got bit during the scuffle.

"We hear him cry and whimper and we see blood coming from his mouth," Masters said.

Immediately, Dan rushed Trooper to an emergency veterinarian where he received vaccinations, pain medication and a rabies booster shot.

Dr. Tauenberger of Phoenix Veterinary Emergency Hospital says Dan made the right call for any pet owner to make in a crisis, like Trooper's.

"Rats specifically can cause diseases that dogs are susceptible to," he said. "With rat bait, they can cause really severe problems in dogs as well, Just like they can kill rats, they can also kill dogs."

The roof rats are searching for fruits like citrus, water or other food sources.

Dan says he's lucky that Trooper is now doing better because it could have been much worse.

"Our biggest concern was besides rabies or what other diseases the rat that bit him may have carried, but fortunately, he ended up OK and he's ready to go back at it again," he said.