Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Ulcerative pododermatitis (Bumble foot)

Synonym(s): Sore hocks

Contributor(s): David Scarff, Ron Rees Davies, Vicki Baldrey

Introduction

  • Ulcerative pododermatitis (sore hocks) is a common condition of domestic rabbits   Pododermatitis: corn formation  .
  • Cause: poor hygiene, moist conditions, abrasive floor surfaces, obesity, inactivity and thin skin in the metatarsal region all predispose to the condition.
  • Signs: initial erythema, alopecia and subsequent erosion of the skin of the metatarsus progresses to ulceration and swelling of metatarsal tissues.
  • Diagnosis: history, signs.
  • Treatment: therapy involves control of infection and debridement of affected tissues and correction of predisposing factors.
  • Prognosis: guarded.

Print off the Owner factsheet onPododermatitis - sore hocks  Pododermatitis - sore hocks  to give to your clients.

Acute presentation

  • Initially slow, insidious onset.
  • Erythema and alopecia of the skin on the ventral aspect of the hock   Pododermatitis: sore hocks 01    Pododermatitis: sore hocks 02  .
  • Signs may be unilateral or bilateral.
  • Less commonly the palmar aspect of the metacarpus is affected.
  • If untreated erosion follows, followed by ulceration.
  • Eventually cellulitis may develop.
  • Osteomyelitis and septicemia may occur if severe.

Geographic incidence

  • Worldwide, although moist conditions predispose.

Morbidity

  • In poor conditions many individuals in a group may be affected.
  • In a group a range of signs may occur.

Mortality

  • Severe cases may be unresponsive to treatment, leading to euthanasia Euthanasia.

Cost considerations

  • Expensive - surgical debridement is costly, with no guarantee of success.

Cause

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Sequelae

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers
  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Mancinelli E, Keeble E, Richardson J & Hedley J (2014) Husbandry risk factors associated with hock pododermatitis in UK pet rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Vet Rec 174 (17), 429 PubMed.
  • Martorell J (2014) Scoring pododermatitis in pet rabbits. Vet Rec 174 (17), 427-428 PubMed.
  • Blair J (2013) Bumblefoot: A comparison of clinical presentation and treatment of pododermatitis in rabbits, rodents and birds. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 16 (3), 715-735 PubMed.
  • Sant R & Rowland M (2009) Skin disease in rabbits. In Pract 31 (5), 233-238 VetMedResource.
  • Scarff D (2008) Skin diseases of pet rabbits. UK Vet 13 (2), 66-75 VetMedResource.
  • Harvey C (1995) Rabbit and rodent skin diseases. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med (4), 195-204.
  • Hillyer E V (1994) Pet rabbits. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 24 (1), 25-65 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Varga M (2014) Skin Diseases. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. pp 271-302.
  • Capello V (2006) Small Mammal Orthopedics. In: Proc BSAVA Congress. pp 209-211.


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