3 Ways to Treat Corns in Rabbits

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3 Ways to Treat Corns in Rabbits
3 Ways to Treat Corns in Rabbits

Corns (also known as pododermatitis) are a very common health problem in pet rabbits. They occur when the underside of a rabbit's paw develops sores, which become inflamed and infected. There are some factors that contribute to the problem, such as overweight and wire mesh cages. Pododermatitis can be very painful, requiring immediate attention. Take the pet to a veterinarian for diagnosis and start treatment as soon as possible.


Method 1 of 3: Getting Veterinary Treatment

Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 1

Step 1. Take the rabbit to the vet as soon as possible

If the pet has painful calluses on its paws, it will probably never be able to get comfortable. Watch his paws for redness, inflammation, and discharge that indicate infection. If your rabbit is not comfortable in the cage and has abnormal paws, it is good to see a veterinarian.

Look for a veterinarian who specializes in exotic animals and has experience in rabbits

Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 2

Step 2. Let the veterinarian clean the rabbit's legs

After making the diagnosis, the professional will clean the affected area with their own products. If the animal is in a lot of pain, it will likely resist the procedure, but cleanliness is important before medication.

  • The veterinarian may use an antibacterial soap to clean the rabbit's paws before applying antibiotic ointment.
  • After cleaning and antibiotic ointment, the professional will likely apply a dressing to protect the area. Rabbits don't like this, and it's quite possible that the pet will try to eat the bandage.
Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 3

Step 3. Start taking care of the pet at home

After the veterinarian's initial cleaning, treatment must be continued. The professional will recommend some products to soak the rabbit's foot, such as epsom salts and povidone iodine. These are antibacterial solutions found in pharmacies.

  • Soak the rabbit's paw in a small bowl. Hold the animal and dip the affected paw in the liquid. The amount of product and the duration of the bath are things that depend on the veterinarian's instructions.
  • After soaking his paw, dry it with a clean towel, apply antibiotic ointment (if necessary) and bandage it.
Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 4

Step 4. Continue dressing

Buy some supplies at the drugstore for dressing your rabbit, such as sterile gauze and elastic bands. To start, place a piece of gauze under the affected foot and wrap the paw in the bandage, leaving the little toes free. Do not tighten too much so as not to cut off blood circulation.

  • Bandaging a rabbit's leg can be tricky. Ask the veterinarian to teach you the proper procedures.
  • The rabbit may resist bandaging, especially if it is in a lot of pain. In that case, try giving some snacks while treating his paw. If you still can't bandage it, talk to your vet about some extra tactics.
Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 5

Step 5. Give antibiotics

If the pet's paw has become infected, the veterinarian will prescribe a treatment with topical antibiotics (ointments) or oral. Oral medications are recommended for severe cases of infection.

  • Some antibiotics can cause serious gastrointestinal problems, reducing the amount of good bacteria in the rabbit's system. If your pet needs antibiotics, be aware that the veterinarian will choose the medication carefully.
  • The professional will likely recommend the administration of probiotics to aid the rabbit's digestive flora.
  • Oral antibiotics are liquid and usually given with a syringe into the rabbit's mouth. When applying an ointment, be careful not to touch the tip of the container to the infected skin.
  • Follow the prescription to the letter when giving the antibiotic.
Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 6

Step 6. Administer pain medications

If the pet is in a lot of pain, the vet will likely prescribe some anti-inflammatory medications such as carprofen or naproxen. As with the antibiotic, follow the veterinarian's instructions to the letter.

The medicine can be in tablet form. If the rabbit does not want to drink it, hide it in the middle of a snack or mash it and place it with the food

Method 2 of 3: Changing the Rabbit's Environment

Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 7

Step 1. Make the floor of the rabbit cage more comfortable

In the wild, rabbits tread on grass and soft earth, sinking their claws into the ground and holding their bodies well. It is not so easy to duplicate this type of floor indoors. If your pet has a wire cage without a soft place to rest its feet, something needs to be done about it.

  • If buying a cage with soft soil is not a practical option, cover the entire cage with some material, such as a towel. Then cover the towel with a very thick layer of stratum, such as straw.
  • You can also place cardboard on the floor of the cage. As it is a very absorbent material, it will need to be changed frequently.
  • If the cage already has soft ground, it might be a good idea to cover it with a cotton mat with a rubber base. This way, the pet will have more traction and will not be slipping through the cage.
  • Obviously, the linings must be deep and absorbent in order to act as a padding for the calluses on the feet.
Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 8

Step 2. Remove dirty layer frequently

Rabbit urine, if it comes in contact with the skin, can cause irritation and worsen pododermatitis. If the rabbit likes to sit in the litter box, this may be the source of the problem. During treatment, remove the dirty layer from the cage daily.

When changing, remember to also collect the animal's feces, as they promote the accumulation of bacteria in the cage and can worsen the infection

Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 9

Step 3. Clean the rabbit cage

In addition to removing waste frequently, it is necessary to sanitize it. Remove leftover food and wash the pots of water and food with hot water and detergent. Every two weeks, thoroughly clean the rabbit's cage and toys with a vinegar solution (four parts water to one part vinegar).

Method 3 of 3: Dealing with Possible Causes of the Problem

Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 10

Step 1. Trim the rabbit's nails

If its claws grow, they can bend and damage the skin, causing pododermatitis. Trim them during treatment and keep them short to avoid future problems. If you are not comfortable trimming a rabbit's nails, take the rabbit to a veterinarian.

If you decide to cut the rabbit's nails yourself, be careful not to hit their nail bed. This is a blood vessel present at the site that, if cut, can cause a lot of pain and bleeding

Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 11

Step 2. Help the rabbit lose weight

Normally, an overweight rabbit cannot support itself properly, putting too much pressure on the paws and potentially injuring them. If he is overweight or obese, you need to gradually reduce his weight to relieve pressure on his feet. The process usually involves healthy eating and exercise.

  • Talk to your veterinarian before you start trying to get the rabbit to lose weight. The provider will further instruct you on how to help the rabbit and how much weight to lose.
  • Exercise options include digging, chasing you, and running through an obstacle course. At the beginning of the treatment it may be better to take it easy, as the rabbit's paws will probably hurt too much.
  • A healthy diet includes hay, fresh vegetables and a limited amount of pellet feed and snacks.
Treat Sore Hocks in Rabbits Step 12

Step 3. Treat orthopedic problems

A rabbit that suffers from arthritis or another skeletal problem will not be able to maintain good posture, which increases its chances of developing pododermatitis. If your pet has orthopedic problems and calluses on its feet, you need to treat both.

You can make your rabbit's cage more comfortable by using a litter box with a low front and shallow food and water pots


  • It is very important to address the cause of the problem, or the corns will only get worse and bigger.
  • Some breeds of rabbit have short or fine fur in the paw regions, increasing the chance of problems.
  • Pododermatitis usually re-emerges because of damage to the skin or the hair follicles in the paws.


  • Treatment can be complicated and time-consuming. You will need to invest time and money, but it will be worth it.
  • It is very likely that the rabbit's leg will be permanently damaged. Still, continue the treatment so that he doesn't suffer.
  • Some more severe cases require amputation of the toes, foot or paw.

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