Favorite Rabbit has sore hocks

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KelleyBee

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I couldn't be more upset about my rabbits. One of my most favored doe breeders is bleeding from her foot today. Back story:

She had no hock problems for the first 6 months I had her (got her at 8 weeks). With cold weather heading in, I decided to give her a "burrow box" with a wooden floor. She is not the only rabbit I'd provided a burrow box. However, she decided to pee in the box and then sit in the pee! This went on for a few days before I discovered what she was doing and it had already caused damage to her hocks. I was so upset (this was several months back in the fall). I pulled her box, removed the flooring, affixed wire as flooring and have kept it stuffed with hay (cleaned, etc.) Her feet appeared to heal. They never had gotten to the point of bleeding back then and I thought this was behind us. They just looked like they were permanently calloused from the ordeal.

However, today I have noticed one of her rear foot pads is bleeding. I have no idea what to do. I am upset because she's a sweetie, a good mama and I am devastated to find she is going to continue with foot problems. I can't keep her as a pet. She's a working doe for me, or so that was my plan. Is there anything I can do to spare her? Has anyone ever successfully dealt with such a problem? I am thinking I should not breed her anymore (she's only ever had one of her own small litters, but she is currently fostering other rabbit's babies thru the reset method).

I appreciate any advice you can give.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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I forgot what its called, but a year or two ago a few of my rabbits kept getting the the rubbed off their feet and big scabs. We would put on some kind of ointment on the spots and they would soon heal up
 

NY Rabbits

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You can spray the wound with New Skin or Blue Kote. You may need to repeat this for a few days. Put some straw and/or a ceramic tile for her to sit on and she should heal up fine.
 

MuddyFarms

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Sorry you are dealing with sore hocks! That can be a big disappointment to find on a breeding rabbit; I know that bad feeling when you are trying to do everything right for them and something still goes wrong. :(

I have had success using Preparation H on the bare area, even on ones that were bleeding. I applied it to the foot twice daily, until it was no longer bleeding or bothering her. In years past I have used Bag Balm, coconut oil, or a combination of Prep H and Nu Skin. The Prep H has been the best thing for it, with the other things not really touching the issue. Blue Kote is also something I have read that can be really good for the sore feet, and I am going to be trying that with the rabbit I have now with sore hocks. What you want is a treatment that can penetrate deep into the foot, not just get it moist on the outside; Prep H and Nu Skin and Blu Kote do this.

I make sure they have a piece of wood or something solid to sit on to relieve pressure on their feet from the wire. I also cover most of the floor with plastic resting mats. I am trying out lining the floor (except potty corners) with cardboard now as well. I trim nails if they need it, and if their condition is lacking at all I try to get that up. Also keeping the floor dry as much as possible is good. I found that with lots of kits in the cage (making the cage floor wetter than with only one rabbit) their feet can't always be dry enough to heal.

I have successfully treated several does that got sore hocks badly enough that I wasn't sure they would be good for more litters. I have one on a litter right now, whose feet are doing really well. It seems to be somewhat dependent on what caused the issue in the first place. If it is because the foot is narrow or some other structural problem, it seems more likely to get sore again. If it is because of some environmental issue, when that is addressed and the sore is treated, it seems to be a less frequent issue. Because the foot is then bare, though, it can start to bleed later if it gets irritated somehow. It is a 'weakness' that the rabbit would have that you would need to watch. But it is not an impossible thing to deal with; they can be good breeders even after getting sore hocks.

I have noticed that sore hocks often show up after 6 months of age if they are going to get them, so it may not have only been the box issue, too.

The first rabbit I had that got sore hocks was a Californian years back whom I was using misters around to keep cool. 'Twas a bad feeling finding that my only cooling option was what seemed to cause it. The floor of her cage was wet that summer and the fur on her foot could no longer protect it. I ended up having to cull her, despite trying to treat (with ineffective treatments). I do not think that would have been necessary now that I am aware of these other treatment options.
 

KelleyBee

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Sorry you are dealing with sore hocks! That can be a big disappointment to find on a breeding rabbit; I know that bad feeling when you are trying to do everything right for them and something still goes wrong. :(

I have had success using Preparation H on the bare area, even on ones that were bleeding. I applied it to the foot twice daily, until it was no longer bleeding or bothering her. In years past I have used Bag Balm, coconut oil, or a combination of Prep H and Nu Skin. The Prep H has been the best thing for it, with the other things not really touching the issue. Blue Kote is also something I have read that can be really good for the sore feet, and I am going to be trying that with the rabbit I have now with sore hocks. What you want is a treatment that can penetrate deep into the foot, not just get it moist on the outside; Prep H and Nu Skin and Blu Kote do this.

I make sure they have a piece of wood or something solid to sit on to relieve pressure on their feet from the wire. I also cover most of the floor with plastic resting mats. I am trying out lining the floor (except potty corners) with cardboard now as well. I trim nails if they need it, and if their condition is lacking at all I try to get that up. Also keeping the floor dry as much as possible is good. I found that with lots of kits in the cage (making the cage floor wetter than with only one rabbit) their feet can't always be dry enough to heal.

I have successfully treated several does that got sore hocks badly enough that I wasn't sure they would be good for more litters. I have one on a litter right now, whose feet are doing really well. It seems to be somewhat dependent on what caused the issue in the first place. If it is because the foot is narrow or some other structural problem, it seems more likely to get sore again. If it is because of some environmental issue, when that is addressed and the sore is treated, it seems to be a less frequent issue. Because the foot is then bare, though, it can start to bleed later if it gets irritated somehow. It is a 'weakness' that the rabbit would have that you would need to watch. But it is not an impossible thing to deal with; they can be good breeders even after getting sore hocks.

I have noticed that sore hocks often show up after 6 months of age if they are going to get them, so it may not have only been the box issue, too.

The first rabbit I had that got sore hocks was a Californian years back whom I was using misters around to keep cool. 'Twas a bad feeling finding that my only cooling option was what seemed to cause it. The floor of her cage was wet that summer and the fur on her foot could no longer protect it. I ended up having to cull her, despite trying to treat (with ineffective treatments). I do not think that would have been necessary now that I am aware of these other treatment options.
Thank you for your awesome answer. I appreciate the time and consideration it took to write. I’ve saved it to my personal files and have printed it for current and future reference. ❤️
 

KelleyBee

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Sorry you are dealing with sore hocks! That can be a big disappointment to find on a breeding rabbit; I know that bad feeling when you are trying to do everything right for them and something still goes wrong. :(

I have had success using Preparation H on the bare area, even on ones that were bleeding. I applied it to the foot twice daily, until it was no longer bleeding or bothering her. In years past I have used Bag Balm, coconut oil, or a combination of Prep H and Nu Skin. The Prep H has been the best thing for it, with the other things not really touching the issue. Blue Kote is also something I have read that can be really good for the sore feet, and I am going to be trying that with the rabbit I have now with sore hocks. What you want is a treatment that can penetrate deep into the foot, not just get it moist on the outside; Prep H and Nu Skin and Blu Kote do this.

I make sure they have a piece of wood or something solid to sit on to relieve pressure on their feet from the wire. I also cover most of the floor with plastic resting mats. I am trying out lining the floor (except potty corners) with cardboard now as well. I trim nails if they need it, and if their condition is lacking at all I try to get that up. Also keeping the floor dry as much as possible is good. I found that with lots of kits in the cage (making the cage floor wetter than with only one rabbit) their feet can't always be dry enough to heal.

I have successfully treated several does that got sore hocks badly enough that I wasn't sure they would be good for more litters. I have one on a litter right now, whose feet are doing really well. It seems to be somewhat dependent on what caused the issue in the first place. If it is because the foot is narrow or some other structural problem, it seems more likely to get sore again. If it is because of some environmental issue, when that is addressed and the sore is treated, it seems to be a less frequent issue. Because the foot is then bare, though, it can start to bleed later if it gets irritated somehow. It is a 'weakness' that the rabbit would have that you would need to watch. But it is not an impossible thing to deal with; they can be good breeders even after getting sore hocks.

I have noticed that sore hocks often show up after 6 months of age if they are going to get them, so it may not have only been the box issue, too.

The first rabbit I had that got sore hocks was a Californian years back whom I was using misters around to keep cool. 'Twas a bad feeling finding that my only cooling option was what seemed to cause it. The floor of her cage was wet that summer and the fur on her foot could no longer protect it. I ended up having to cull her, despite trying to treat (with ineffective treatments). I do not think that would have been necessary now that I am aware of these other treatment options.
@MuddyFarms
Do you wrap the feet after applying Prep H? She likes it off. Sigh. I am concerned for her health due to ingesting it.
 

MuddyFarms

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@MuddyFarms
Do you wrap the feet after applying Prep H? She likes it off. Sigh. I am concerned for her health due to ingesting it.

I have not been wrapping the feet, because I didn't think they would leave anything on, and I wanted the feet to be able to dry out in between treatments. My rabbits lick it a little, too. That's definitely something that can be difficult to battle in an animal! I put just enough to thoroughly coat it (but not a thick coat) and then give them some oats and a few sunflower seeds in my hand or a crock afterwards for them to eat. They turn around expectantly just as soon as they are back in the cage, knowing that the oats come next (I usually give a little oats to a rabbit after handling them outside their cage and they learn to expect that). This helps distract them for a little while, and they usually go lay down after having the oats. I sometimes also give them their hay and/or a young willow branch after that, which gives them something to put their focus on for a while. But each rabbit would undoubtedly react differently to having it on their feet. My thought was that the medication in the Prep H is getting into their systems through the foot anyway, so ingesting a little might not be too bad?

How are her feet doing now?
 

KelleyBee

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How are her feet doing now?
Her foot has stopped bleeding, but is still raw. I don't think the licking is helping with that. Thanks for the distraction tips. Due to me schedule, I can apply Prep H only once per day and I missed two days in a row this week by simply forgetting1 (Too much on my plate). I will give your suggestions a try.
 

eco2pia

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In my experience this is an uphill battle. Don't breed her babies. give her lots of cardboard or ply wood resting mats, that pee wont stay on.
 

KelleyBee

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In my experience this is an uphill battle. Don't breed her babies. give her lots of cardboard or ply wood resting mats, that pee wont stay on.
Yes, she’s a mutt so her babies are strictly for the family freezer. She’s just such a sweetheart herself that I am willing to go the extra mile to see if we can get it behind us.
 
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