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Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Diagnosing and treating rabbit ailments. *Caution! These threads may contain graphic content.*
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Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby lyndseyrk » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:31 pm


A month ago, I found that my favorite doe had developed sore hocks. Didn't think it was going to be that big of a deal...had one dime-size raw/scabby spot on each foot. I separated her from the others and put her where I could give her daily attention to the problem. I placed all board in her cage, minus her potty corner. Been applying neosporin and/or Bag Balm daily to the area. Well, it's been a month and it's only gotten worse. I figured she'd be good as new by now. Front feet/toes are swollen and it looks as though its now getting infected. Yesterday, I moved her from her cage to a solid-bottom dog crate with bedding. She seems more comfortable that way. Problem is that I can't keep her feet clean. She tears off wrappings and bedding and hay stick to her medicated feet. She also licks them alot (can't blame her). They are BAD. Did some reading up on the subject (never really experienced this before) and some recommend putting them on Baytril. She's a meat mutt. Do I just put her out of her misery now and save herself suffering and my time and energy or put her on antibiotics? Any other suggestions?
~ Lyndsey

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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby rabbitgeek » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:36 pm


After a month, I would put her out of her misery.

Usually sore hocks improves in 10 days with the treatment you are giving her.

My son's French Lop was once in similar shape and he was all cleared up in 2 weeks with hay bedding (change daily) and bag balm.

The swelling toes makes me think the infection is spreading.

Have a good day!

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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby AprilW » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:56 pm


Could she be sitting in her waste? That would make the condition worse. Maybe take out all but one small board for her to rest on.
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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby lyndseyrk » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:05 pm


AprilW wrote:Could she be sitting in her waste? That would make the condition worse. Maybe take out all but one small board for her to rest on. But if it has been a month I agree that I'd cull her.


Well, I think that's how it all started. She had a winter box with bedding in it in her outdoor hutch. She has good potty habits, and had never soiled her box. She spent alot of time in it, and I trusted her that she didn't soil it. Well, apparently she started to, without me knowing and still sat in it. That's when I noticed the sore hocks. She no longer has a box for that reason. I did have just the one board in with her, and she stayed on it constantly. Pretty much never moved.


And yet, more bad rabbit luck for me. Why can't this ever work the way its supposed to?
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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby trinityoaks » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:07 pm


Well, I'm one of those never-say-die types. What if you lined the bottom of the cage with the rabbit resting boards that let the poo and pee fall through? (Bass carries them, and I've also seen them at TSC. I have one in each of my Cals' cages.) That way she wouldn't continue to soil her feet, and maybe they'd have a chance to heal. I'm also wondering whether injectable penicillin/bicillin would help. I think I would probably also bring her inside, at least into a garage or something, until she heals up.
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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Brody » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:25 pm


Puff has to have a plastic grate on the bottom if his pen or he has issues (more holding wetness than sores but similar issue)

if she was my favourite I wouldn't give up - I'd adjust her environment til I found something that suited her :)
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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby HendricksHearth » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:18 am


It is difficult when they are favorites- I'm sorry to hear about her hocks. :( Do you plan to breed her to potentially keep any of her babies? I ask because I have read that there is a probable genetic component to sore hocks and I am sure that being prego wouldn't help anything if she has problems now. I guess I would say that if she just a pet then I would keep working on trying to heal her, but if she is for production then I would probably think she should be culled if nothing else because it would be hard on her and it might be propagating the same issue for the next generation. Not an easy decision though for sure- I wish you the best of luck!

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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby lyndseyrk » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:21 am


I've been sucked in! Can't do it! Yesterday some of the swelling and redness has subsided, and I came up with an alternative to keep her feet clean and dry (totally forgot that I have several large rubber slatted mats that are designed for dog kennels, two fit nicely in her cage where it's softer than wire and cleaner than bedding). Contacted the vet, and should be able to pick up some Baytril today w/o appointment. Hopefully, I can get her feet straightened up, get her weight back up, and get some more meat babies out of her...don't know that she'll ever make it to the stew pot as yesterday I left her crate door open when I went to get her water. When I turned around, she was right behind me, following me! Oops. I already made a pet out of her! As hard as it may be, can't keep any of her future babies.
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~ Lyndsey

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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:32 am


She does look like a darling! :D If she hops out of the cage and follows you, her feet can't be hurting her that much. Hope the new treatment works!
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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Marian » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:58 am


That rabbit is gorgeous, an absolute Marylin Monroe of the rabbit world.

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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Miss M » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:40 pm


She's such a lovely bun... glad she seems to be doing better. She sounds like a sweetheart, following you around like that! You may not be able to keep any of her babies, but at least she can still produce meat bunnies for you! :)
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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Brody » Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:21 pm


darling - glad you figured out an alternate way to keep her ;)
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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby lyndseyrk » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:26 pm


Well, after antibiotics from the vet and a different ointment, it was still getting worse. Her 1st toe on her front foot was so swollen it was the size of a normal foot. Dh put her down today. Since she was on the antibiotic, we couldn't eat her...so the critters out in the back acreage got her. Ad that to another list of first for me.... :(
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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby ladysown » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:40 pm


that is too bad. sorry she seemed a nice doe.
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Re: Sore Hocks: Medicate or Cull?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:47 pm


I'm very sorry it came to this... but all things considered I think you made the kindest decision.
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