Sore hocks, also known as bumblefoot, is a painful foot infection that can affect rabbits. Here are four things you need to know about it.
What causes it?
There are many different things that can lead to sore hocks in rabbits. It can occur as a result of too much pressure being put on the feet, which can occur if your rabbit is obese or if it doesn't get much exercise. It can also occur in rabbits who live in a moist, dirty environment, like a cage that isn't cleaned as frequently as it should be.
Fortunately, these causes are preventable, so if you're careful, you can keep your rabbit from developing sore hocks. If your rabbit is obese, see your vet for feeding advice, and if they don't get much exercise, give them floor time regularly so that they can run around. Make sure to keep the cage clean and dry as well.
What are the signs of sore hocks?
In the early stages of sore hocks, you'll notice that your rabbit has red lesions and thin fur on their hocks. If you notice these lesions, take your pet to a vet right away for treatment.
If you don't seek treatment, the lesions will continue to get worse. In the later stages, rabbits with sore hocks have painful, ulcerated lesions on their feet. These lesions may leak pus or other fluids. Rabbits with severe sore hocks will be depressed and won't want to move or eat, so don't let that happen to your furry friend.
Is it serious?
Sore hocks is a fairly serious condition. Aside from the discomfort and pain it can cause your pet, the infection can spread deeper into your rabbit's tissues. The infection can spread to the bone and bone marrow. Bone infections are very serious and can be life-threatening. You can avoid this complication by getting prompt treatment for your rabbit.
Can it be treated?
Your vet will carefully clean your rabbit's sores. Once the sores are clean, they'll be bandaged so that they stay that way. You'll need to change these bandages regularly; your vet will tell you how often to do this and how to apply the bandages.
Antibiotics are also used. You may be given an antibiotic cream to apply to your rabbit's sores. The vet may also give your rabbit antibiotics through an injection.
If your rabbit has sores on its feet, see a vet like Southwest Florida Veterinary Specialists & 24-Hour Emergency Hospital right away.