Sore Hocks (Ulcerative Pododermatitis)

Etiology:  Sore hocks occur because of pressure necrosis of the skin from bearing a heavy body weight on a hard or wire surface.  There is genetic predisposition in breeds such as the Rex which have poorly furred footpads and rounded metacarpal bones.

Incidence:  The incidence of ulcerative pododermatitis is uncommon in research rabbits.

Clinical Signs:  Common findings are circumscribed ulcers over the metatarsus and metacarpus, covered by a scab.  Staphylococcus aureus may secondarily infect the wound.  Severely affected rabbits may be anorexic, debilitated, and die.

Diagnosis:  The diagnosis is based on history and clinical signs.

Sore Hocks