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Rabbits/Possible Sore Hock HELP


I bought this rabbit in June.. He is 3 years old and he is a really good show rabbit.

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:

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 (attached picture)

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?

Dear Kylie,

Unfortunately, there is no way to treat sore hocks quickly.  This condition doesn't develop overnight, and it doesn't heal that way, either.  For a procedure to help Basil heal his feet, please read:

There is little you can do to remove the yellow stains, which are probably urine stains.  White fur stains very easily and quite permanently.  You might be able to get things a little cleaner by working a little bit of Baby Cornstarch ( into the fur and then combing it out gently with a soft brush or flea comb.  But the stains are not likely to be removed completely until bun sheds and replaces his coat next shedding season.  

While the hutches shown in the picture you sent are fairly nice, they are not conducive to long-term rabbit health if the bunnies live their entire lives in the hutches.  Like any active mammal, rabbits need several hours a day to run freely and exercise.  If they spend their lives on a wire floor, they are almost bound to get sore hocks, though some individuals are more prone to this than others.  For some ideas on how to safely and comfortably house rabbits indoors, where they are protected from the elements and predators, and can become beloved members of the family, look here:

The best set-ups have a *large* litterbox that bun can sit in to do his business and munch hay, as well as a combination of cushioned, 100% cotton floor mats for traction and some smooth areas where a bun can stretch out to be cool and comforable.  Hidey boxes provide enrichment and something to chew for a project.  Rabbits are intelligent, social, and loving, and they really do need all these things.

For the best, most accurate information on rabbit care, please visit:

I hope this helps.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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