Sore hock??? HELP!!!

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iLuvMyLilBuns

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Hey guys,

I bought this rabbit in June.. He is 3 years old and he is a really good show rabbit, he has a few legs. Anyways.. The color on his belly is white like my other rabbit Lila. She has no stains on her and is perfectly clean (I don't clean her) My other rabbit Charlie is black tort like a brown color and he is perfectly clean with no stains.

My new rabbit Basil has a white belly like I said and it's like all yellow and full of stains. I keep all my rabbits in the hutch below, they are each in their own hutch:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004HSQQY0/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

They have a wire part on the hutch that they stand on and I took the tray out so their "droppings" won't be near them and I just let everything fall on the ground and I clean it up weekly. In the hutch, their is a little box and I put bedding in there and hay. All my rabbits just eat and sleep in there and poop/pee on the wire.

Basil ONLY poops in the box and WON'T poop on the wire. He then lies on his poop/pee in the box. It's so gross and I have to clean it up almost everyday. They also have playpens in the grass that he goes out in every other day.

I'm 16, in 4-H and so I show them in the county fair... My fair is next week. I was looking over my rabbits today and noticed this on the bottom of his foot today:







I didn't notice it before because there is fur on top of it, I pulled back the fur for the picture. Is this a sore hock? If so please, how do I get rid of it fast? Also, what are good ways to get stains out of white rabbits??

I've never had to deal with this as all my rabbits are clean and tidy. I don't understand how he would get a sore hock.. I feel terrible :(

Should I treat his foot and keep him in the playpen until the fair because the playpen doesn't have wire?? Where should I have him live??

His stomach and feet are SO gross..

Like I said his hutch doesn't just have wire there is his box but he poops/pees in it and I don't keep him in the hutch all the time he goes in the playpen and I take him out to play just like my other rabbits.. I don't think the wire would give him sore hocks..

Any advice ASAP would be awesome! Also, if he does have sore hocks, how do I treat it fast?
 
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ZoeStevens

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I have this problem with my angora from time to time.

For now, get baby socks, medical tape and an antibiotic ointment - either regular polysporin. Or something from the vet. I bag balm, I think. Put in the ointment, put in the sock, then wrap some tape around the top of the sock to bunch it off so it doesn't fall off. There's a good series of photos somewhere on this forum - I am sure you can find if you google it.

You can get a Screen Kit (binkybunny sells it) that will help keep your rabbit off the urine-soaked bedding. What kind if bedding do you use?

Are you sure it's sore hocks and not just a callus, btw? I can't tell from the pics.
 

majorv

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I don't see bare skin in the picture so I'm wondering if the hair is just starting to grow back. You shouldn't have a problem showing him. If there were any sores that would be a DQ. It also sounds like your guy is one of those bucks who isn't interested in keeping himself groomed. Again, stains aren't a DQ but he won't be very competitive with them on his belly. I've read that some people use corn starch and/or baking soda to get urine stains off rabbit fur. If you google it you should find the ingredients and proportions.
 

iLuvMyLilBuns

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ZoeStevens: I'm not sure if it's a sore hock or not, I was hoping someone would be able to tell. It almost looks like dried bunched up fur not skin. If I got a screen kit my rabbit would have no solid place to stand but any solid place like a blanket or wood he pees/poops all over. I use this bedding: http://www.pet360.com/product/53097/kaytee-clean-and-cozy-small-animal-and-bird-bedding?utm_source=google-pla&utm_medium=cse&extcid=pla&gclid=CKTAns--obgCFaVFMgod1F0AJQ

What should I do for his foot and how should I change the environment he is in?
 
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majorv

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At this point I wouldn't consider it sore hocks. Rabbits who get sore hocks are more due to genetics than anything else. If they're prone to sore hocks then they can get them on carpet just as easily as on wire. If he spends a lot of time sitting on the wire part, you could get a ceramic tile and place it in the middle so he can sit on it. Check his feet regularly to see if you start seeing bare skin. If he's lying in the same box he's pooping/peeing in then that may also explain the matted hair. Have you tried taking out the box to see if he'll do his business over the wire?
 

iLuvMyLilBuns

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The box is not Since the box is not removable should i block off the box and put a solid blanket or something on the wire so he can rest his feet? Or should I have him be in his play pen on the ground 24/7?

Also, how do I treat it fast, should I put ointment and a sock on him?

And does anyone know if this will affect him at the fair? Do I need to take him to the vet to treat it?
 

majorv

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As I mentioned, I don't see bare skin, unless I'm missing something...so you should be able to show him. Until the fair you could either keep him in the playpen or spread a blanket over part of the wire. I wouldn't completely cover it, especially if you decide to block off the box. It looks like he has to go through the box to go down the ramp, right? Maybe you could try putting a litter box inside part of the area he likes to pee/poop and cover it with a grate so he can't lie in it. That would at least help with the stains he's getting on his fur. Maybe others will have suggestions...
 

woahlookitsme

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I agree with Majorv. It does not look open from the picture so it shouldn't be a problem. I don't see a need to treat it and don't put anything on it right before the fair because a judge can DQ for foreign substance on his feet even if it is medicine.

Also agree rabbits can get sore hocks on wire or solid flooring. Sore hocks are genetic but he does not have sore hocks right now.
 

ZoeStevens

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If no bare skin then it's not sore hocks. It may be a callus, some rubbed-off skin that is growing back, healed sore hocks. My guy with sore hocks has red spots on his feet - you can see them when he hops. You can see red skin and sometimes very small scabs or shallow pus spots (some rabbits have it really bad if not caught early).

He did have calluses when he came from being on screen. He gets sore hocks from sitting in pee (his hutch-mate isn't very good at using a litterbox...). I clean as much as I can of course but sometimes it happens.
 

rabbit_friend

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I would check carefully for any swelling, tenderness, blood spots, or cuts, because sore hocks can get infected and abscessed very quickly (especially if he's sitting or lying on pee and poop), and it is difficult to tell there is an abscess beneath the surface. Even if there is fur over the area, if there is a cut anywhere and bacteria get in, you've got an abscess in the making. If not spotted, the infection can spread to the bone.

If he is not a chewer, you could put some soft fleece-type blanket over the wire part of the cage since he doesn't use it to poop anyway. He is probably lying in his poop because it's the softest thing around and the feet probably do hurt on both wood and wire. If you give him a softer, cleaner option, he'll probably keep it clean because he'll want it for a bed. They don't really like sleeping where they go to the bathroom -- it goes against every instinct to avoid detection from predators.

Make sure the fluffy litter you're buying is in the wooden box part so any moisture is absorbed and spot clean any wet spots at least once a day. Moisture can quickly lead to infection. Monitor his hocks daily, they can quickly go downhill.

Although some breeds do have more of a tendency to sore hocks, environment plays a large role. To avoid further injury (and not just staining), you really need a surface with "give" to it. The best solution I've ever read for hock issues is actually to keep the bunny on a really thick layer (6 inches or more) of hay round the clock, of course making sure it doesn't become wet or moldy. Also address anything that would throw the weight back onto the hocks: keep nails trimmed short, keep weight ideal, and provide lots of opportunity for activity so spine and muscles can be strong and keep the body in the best position. If the fur is worn away, nothing is going to be "fast" because you're waiting on hair to regrow, but anything that takes the pressure off the area allows it to heal. It's like a pressure sore on a bedridden patient, and even if it looks fine on the surface, constant pressure there can lead to tissue necrosis.
 

iLuvMyLilBuns

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Thanks everyone for the advice! As for the urine stains, I'll try to get them out. The stains are only on his underside so is that fine for judging?
 

majorv

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Do you mean they're just on his belly? If the judge flips him over - which he should to check nails, teeth and sex - he'll notice any stains. How much of a difference it makes, it just depends. If the stains aren't on his butt (and noticeable from behind) then that's better.
 

tonyshuman

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I would guess he is pooping and peeing inside the solid-floored area because he feels safer in there. If you put a covered cat litterbox in the larger section of the hutch, and put hay, litter, maybe a screen on top of the litter, and some of his in it, he might use that instead. You could also put a hidey box in the wire-bottomed section, maybe with a solid floor for the whole thing, and a litterbox in the enclosed area instead. This way he has separate places for hanging out and pooping. He probably doesn't hang out in the wire-floored part because it's wide open and he feels vulnerable or because of the wire floor.
 

iLuvMyLilBuns

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Is he still showable? Someone on www.allexperts.com told me this:

"No - he wont be able to compete at the fair. Fair judging is based on the SOP for each breed (standard of perfection/breed/breed standards) and sore hocks is an immediate disqualification. in fact, most fairs wont even let a rabbit with evidence of prior sore hocks on the table. You can either return him to the seller and get your money back, keep him as a pet knowing that his feet will need constant care, or have him humanely euthanized. If you choose to re-home him, please be certain to let the new owner know that his feet will require special care for the remainder of his life."
 

Bunnylova4eva

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Like previously said, I don't think this is actual sore hocks at this point-there don't sound like there are raw open spots on them; though they could progress into that. I think with just thinned fur on his feet, he should be fine for showing. Maybe someone on here knows better than me though about showing. I think he's probably still showable, but try to get the urine staining off.
 

majorv

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Based on the photos you posted I continue to say that I don't think he has sore hocks that would be a DQ. If you can post more pictures from different angles and straight on then it might help. I believe that what you're seeing on the bottom of his foot is short matted fur...and I think you said that yourself. It certainly doesn't look like skin or even a callous. Did the person who you quoted see his feet in person or were they looking at the same pictures we are?
 
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rabbit_friend

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I don't know which expert was quoted, but sore hocks are treatable and the person who used the thick hay layer method I mentioned earlier had regrowth of fur on the feet, so it sounds a bit drastic to me to say rehome or euthanize him! I'm not sure how a judge would see prior evidence of sore hocks if all the fur was regrown (though of course it would take longer than a week if it's worn bare in spots). But yes, if a rabbit is prone to them, it will require "special care" for his entire life, but that might be as simple as changing the flooring and diet and monitoring for signs of irritation.

There are also some very graphic testimonial type pictures of a rabbit with terrible pododermatitis (when the sore hocks become open and infected), and then with fur regrowth after using their products (along with some antibiotics and environment changes which they sort of minimize!) at this website: http://www.exoticdvm.com/mammal (scroll down to the rabbit pododermatitis case) I found their cream to be more irritating than helpful, but some people swear by it.
 

iLuvMyLilBuns

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I just wanted to let you guys know that Basil's foot took a turn for the worse :( I went to an Essential Oils party last winter and they gave me this animal ointment and I thought It would help his feet heal. I guess not.. My mom thinks it like burned his feet because now they are open wounds :( I feel terrible and dumb...

Since I don't know what to do for him and the fair is next week I decided to make an appointment at the vet tomorrow. Hopefully they can help us, they said they would maybe put him on an antibiotic... If anyone has experienced this let me know if you took your rabbit to the vet or if you know a home remedy to heal his feet.
 

iLuvMyLilBuns

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EDITED:

I just wanted to let you guys know that Basil's foot took a turn for the worse :( I went to an Essential Oils party last winter and they gave me this animal ointment and I thought It would help his feet heal. I guess not.. My mom thinks it like burned his feet because now they are like red open wounds like skin :( I feel terrible and dumb...

Since I don't know what to do for him and the fair is next week I decided to make an appointment at the vet tomorrow. Hopefully they can help us, they said they would maybe put him on an antibiotic... If anyone has experienced this let me know if you took your rabbit to the vet or if you know a home remedy to heal his feet.
 

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