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Hock Sores in rabbits
*Red, irritated, and sometimes bleeding sores on the bottom of your bunny’s hind feet
*Wires or rough material on the floor of your rabbits hutch
*Constant moisture contacting the hocks
The constant irritation of the bunny’s hind feet can cause redness, sores, and in some cases, severe infection and deep ulcerations. Rabbits, unlike dogs and cats, do not have pads. Some rabbits with thicker fur may not develop this problem. It is seen most often in larger breed rabbits such as the Flemish Giant, obese rabbits, and breeds such as the Rex rabbit that have thin fur on the feet. Check your bunny’s feet regularly and at the first sign of thinning of the fur or redness and/or irritation implement measures to ease their feet such as supplying soft cloths or padding for your bunny to sit on.
If sores appear, keep the bottom of the hutch clean, dry and soft. Keep the sores clean and watch for infection. If infection sets in, see your vet for an antibiotic treatment. However, make sure your veterinarian is well versed in the care of rabbits as certain antibiotics Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, Cephalosporin’s, Penicillin and other similar treatments can be harmful to your bunny as they can kill the much needed bacteria that resides in your rabbits digestive system to help your rabbit digest properly. As with any medical condition of your bunny, prevention is always the best medicine.
Providing an appropriate living area for your rabbit will help prevent hock sores. If your bunny is kept in a wire hutch, make sure he/she has some kind of smooth and/or soft place within the hutch to sit. This will provide some relief from the wire. Provide a raise smooth wood platform, a box to crawl into, a tray with lots of hay, or in some cases, you can even use soft towels. You can also line your bunny’s hutch floor with plastic interlocking flooring available at many pet stores. These special plastic floors have holes to allow waste to fall through, keeping your bunny’s feet clean and dry.
Rabbits will develop calluses on their feet. You can use cool tea bag compresses to help toughen them, which will also help prevent hock sores.