Sore hocks or Bumblefoot , is a condition that meat rabbits face. I am in the middle of trying to treat it with Christopher’s’ large male sable rabbit.The condition is more likely to show up in large rabbits who get pressure sores on their feet. The main to problems come from being over weight and from rough surfaces like wire cage floors.The condition is hard to treat but we are making head way.
I first noticed that my male rabbit was dancing around his large cage and with in days he was always humped up while sitting or would not come out of the wood portion of his cage. I never thought in 30 days we could go from
totally healthy to this. The male on the left is about 3 pounds heavier than the male on the right. He is also a pure bred rabbit and has a finer coat and larger ears. I think the finer coat also contributed to the condition as the finer hair is easier to rub off.
Once the condition got noticed, I realized that we had to get the boys up off the wire floor of the cage as much as possible. The first thing I tried was to use the store-bought plastic resting boards. For some unknown reason Diesel still would not sit on it. I then tried a portion of an old asparagus crate. Both rabbits liked the wood better even though the texture was not as smooth.
I then started treating the wounds. I washed his feet carefully with a anti bacteria soap and made sure that the feet did not have any oozing or open sores. If I had found any sign of an infection I would have taken the buck to the veterinarian. In this case I only saw scabs and missing fur. I then used a triple antibiotic salve on all 4 feet. I washed and applied the salve every other day for a week. The improvement was visible at about 10 days.
Both front feet have good hair growth and no scabs and are looking better. The large scab on the left hind foot had shed and was only a small spot. The foot on the right actually looks like it also lost its scab but a new small spot appeared. I will continue to wash and treat all the feet for the remainder of the winter off and on. I will also try to thin Diesel down some. I am just hoping that I can spend more time with him on his leash but with winter weather it maybe hard to find days like this one.
If in the next month these basic treatments do not make the sores smaller the next step is to remove him from this cage altogether. I will return him into the portable cage and take him back indoors for a while.Moving him indoors maybe the only way that he will get enough time out of his cage to heal. He would be in a much smaller cage but one that actually sits in the pine shavings instead of above them. I also would be able to soak the feet with an antiseptic every day for few minutes by using a pet carrier as a foot soak.
The carrier floor needs washed and rinsed and then a small towel soaked in a anti septic covers the floor of the carrier. The rabbit rests in the carrier for up to an hour to soak the feet with out soaking the upper hair of the foot. The recommendation is twice a day for about a month. I am sure that in my case it will be once a day for a month. This clears any infections and jump starts the healing. It also stops me from having to return a wet footed rabbit into a cold outdoor cage where frost bite on the toes could be a real problem.
This will stop us from showing him at local shows for the time being. We were hoping to take him the State Fair and some local shows this summer but for now he is just a wonderful friend for Christopher. I guess sore feet just run in the family.