About animals

Painful heels (Podermatitis)


There is some truth to this, (subdermatitis can actually occur due to the content of the rabbit on the ethmoid breakwater, but this is far from the only cause of the disease.

In the apartment, the rabbit walks on the hard floor, which means that the claws remain on the surface.

It does not matter what he has under his feet - a carpet, wood, linoleum or plastic (with newspapers and sawdust or without them), the result will always be the same. If the rabbit’s claws do not penetrate the soil, the front part of the paws rises above the surface and a significant part of the animal’s weight falls on the heels, which causes him pain. The situation is complicated if the rabbit is heavy.

Predisposing factors to the development of this disease are:

  • poor hygiene and wet filler,
  • Rex type wool (feet are covered with thick wool)
  • long claws, due to which the rabbit is forced to transfer weight to the heels,
  • being overweight increases pressure on the legs,
  • lack of movement
  • improper floor surface
  • large breeds
  • defects of physical addition.

To understand the reasons for the development of pododermatitis in domestic rabbits, one should take a closer look at their wild relatives, their living conditions, and lifestyle. Wild rabbits move on the grass and on the ground. Due to the softness of the surface, the rabbit's claws are immersed in the ground, therefore, its weight is distributed evenly throughout the foot.

Of course, not all rabbits develop subdermatitis. If you carefully examine the feet of an adult rabbit, you will notice a small hairless light pink area of ​​rough skin, which is not a sign of the disease.

Subdermatitis looks like red, inflamed bald spots on the heels of a rabbit. They can release moisture.

In some cases, there is a displacement of the tendons passing through the heel. Each time, clipping a rabbit's claws, check the soles of all his paws.

Any rabbit suffering from pododermatitis needs special care. Be sure to pay attention to the nature of the surface where the rabbit spends most of his time.

Unfortunately, subdermatitis is quite difficult to treat. The first thing to do is to eliminate the possible causes of the disease. Claws are cut as short as possible (do not touch the blood vessel). Old, overweight, inactive rabbits should make a diet to lose weight. In addition, they may need prolonged analgesic therapy to re-awaken their desire to move.

The ideal surface in case of illness is soft dry hay, which should be put on a towel or any other soft tissue. Never use a carpet - some rabbits will have burns on their feet due to jumping on synthetic carpets, especially often with rabbits who like to jump off furniture.

If the rabbit spends most of his time in the cage, pay close attention to beautification. The animals contained in the cells lack movement, as a result of which they develop diseases of the spine. In addition to choosing the right filler for the cage (a thick layer of dry soft hay, a towel or paper, if the rabbit does not try to eat it, sawdust can be used only by laying a towel or hay on top), make sure that the rabbit receives enough physical exertion.

Arrange him daily walks outside the cage.

In most cases, treatment of pododermatitis is carried out under the supervision of a doctor. In advanced cases, consultations with a veterinarian-dermatologist are required. Treatment usually includes antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and painkillers, skin ointments, sometimes a bandage is needed. It is not recommended to start treatment with any ointments without consulting a veterinarian - self-medication can end very badly and significantly worsen the condition of your pet.

Description of the disease:

Disease of the skin, subcutaneous tissue and bones of the distal extremities of ornamental rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and rats. Subdermatitis is a bruise on the feet, the skin begins to peel off, exfoliate, crust, may begin to bleed and fester (this is when the form is neglected). This is a bacterial infection. Usually both hind legs are affected, one is stronger, the other is smaller, rarely the disease affects the front legs.

Causes of the disease

Factors contributing to the development of pododermatitis are: 1. Hypodynamia - low mobility, content in a narrow cell, absence or short duration of walks. 2. Excess weight (obesity) - increases the load on the limbs and the skeleton as a whole, is the result of inactivity and unbalanced feeding. 3. Violation of the grinding of the claws. Long claws - change the angle of the limb, increase the load on the hock. Violation of physiological grinding of claws is the result of physical inactivity and content on smooth or soft surfaces (plastic, parquet, carpets, etc.). 4. Age - age-related animals are prone to the development of pododermatitis. 5. Injury surfaces - wheels, ladders, cell grids - stimulate the development of the inflammatory process at the site of the initial focus due to compression. 6. Weak pubescence of the inner surface of the paws 7. Skin diseases (allergies, injuries, skin parasites), manifested by the inflammatory process. - Large (heavy) breeds of rabbits are more prone to the development of pododermatitis due to the greater load on the limbs.

Symptoms of the disease

Subdermatitis is a bruise on the feet, the skin begins to peel off, exfoliate, crust, may begin to bleed and fester (this is when the form is neglected). This is a bacterial infection. Usually both hind legs are affected, one is stronger, the other is smaller, rarely the disease affects the front legs.

Disease treatment

The treatment is quite long and includes local application of special sprays and powders (foreign veterinarians offer Blue Kote for horses, Intracell, Granulex, Amerigel, Silvadene, DMSO). - Treatment of pododermatitis includes weight loss of the patient. To do this, exclude or minimize the amount of high-calorie feed. Constantly monitor the weight loss of the animal. You can use special balanced diets for weight loss. - Be sure to change the conditions of detention. The animal is transferred to a cage lacking a wire floor, or a plastic insert is used. Litter material should be soft and exclude the presence of needles, sawdust, residues of coarse grain feed, etc. Do not forget that the inks used to print newspapers contain lead! - If all the measures taken did not lead to the desired result, and damage to the leg of the animal brings obvious concern, then surgical treatment is necessary. Be sure to carry out a tank / sowing with a subtitle of antibiotics. It is very important to note that surgical treatment is carried out only if the corns are suppurating or cause significant concern to the animal. Operations in this area are quite complicated and can lead to a decrease in the functions of the hand or foot.


The veterinarian conducts a visual examination, interviews the owner. Also, smears are usually taken from the infected area to determine the microflora during suppuration, as well as if a fungus is suspected.

If the doctor has concerns that the bone is hurt, they do an x-ray.

The damaged area must be constantly treated with local antiseptics, for example, Chlorhexidine, as well as antibacterial drugs.

If suppuration is strong, prescribe antibacterial drugs by injection.

Dressings with Levomekol or Vishnevsky ointments can be applied to the wound, and Ksidikol is used to stop bleeding and drying.

With severe pain can not do without painkillers. Dead tissue fragments are removed surgically.

In advanced cases, unfortunately, it is often necessary to amputate a limb.

The owner is encouraged to review the conditions of the pet, replace the floor with a dry and smooth, lay a soft litter.

It is also important to disinfect the cell, include vitamin C in the diet and eliminate fatty foods from it.

Call the vet of the ratologist at home around the clock

Specialists of the VetDrug clinic recommend that you do not postpone the appeal to professionals if you notice the first signs of “painful heels”.

Our employees go to bitches 24 hours and provide qualified assistance to your pets.

Calling a professional is convenient because:

  • pet owners have the right to choose any day for the visit of a veterinarian,
  • the pet remains at home, where he will be comfortable,
  • You don’t have to wait in line for an appointment
  • for customers calling a veterinarian, the same prices apply as for visitors to the clinic.

Departure is carried out in Moscow and the Moscow region. Applications are accepted around the clock by phone 8 (495) 796-16-02.