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Posted in Facts about Raising Rabbits, Rabbit Health | 0 comments

What to do about sore hocks

Sore Hocks (Ulcerative Pododermatitis) is a problem that many rabbit breeders experience. Rabbits may develop sore hocks from being on wire cages, from too much pressure on their feet or may just be genetically prone to develop the illness. Some breeds of rabbits, like the Rex, have very thin fur which makes them more prone to having sore hocks.

A rabbit with sore hocks will have no fur on the back legs, or “hocks.” The feet may be red or scabbed and may even have become raw and infected. In severe cases, the front paws may also become affected. Should sore hocks be diagnosed, immediate treatment is necessary. If left untreated, your rabbit may stop eating or refuse to breed because of the pain and irritation. The rabbit could have to be culled if the infection gets too bad.

In order to treat sore hocks, you first need to locate what caused the problem and clean it up. Remove soiled bedding and feces quickly and prevent the bottom of the housing from collecting water. These areas should be scrubbed clean and sanitized with 1 part bleach and 2 parts water. When the floor is dry, the rabbit can move back in.

You also need to spend some time on your rabbit’s feet. Clean them with warm water and mild soap, trim his nails afterward. Cut fur away from red or raw areas and apply an antibiotic ointment. Iodine can also be used but should be followed with hemorrhoid ointment.
Caution: The antibiotic amoxicillin is extremely toxic to rabbits.

To prevent sore hocks, keep your rabbit’s housing clean and replace bedding every other day. Keep hutches in good shape and make sure there are no rough edges. Provide a resting pad for rabbits and sanitize it regularly with bleach. Also be sure to trim your rabbit’s toenails once a month.

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