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Indoor housing materials for prevention of sore hocks

Wigs

Warren Scout
Hi everyone,

We have recently moved our mini rex doe indoors and so far she seems to be loving her new home :) However, last night I checked her back feet, and noticed a tiny bald patch on each of her hocks. The skin looks normal, and we were able to touch it without her wincing, so doesn't appear to be causing her any pain at the moment. She is not overweight, and we clip her nails regularly.

Her new house has lino on the ground floor, with fleecy blankets on top of half of this area. Her bed area is lined with towels and more fleece blankets. To prevent these bald patches from developing into anything worse I am planning on making some changes to this set up. I have read a number of RU threads about this, and was hoping to double check that the changes I have in mind are suitable?

I am thinking for half of the ground floor (approx 4' by 3'), that I will buy some vet bedding, for the other half (approx 6' by 3'), some rubber stable matting... http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/LOW-PRICED-EGGBOXED-EFFECT-STABLE-MAT-FREE-POSTAGE_W0QQitemZ140349930585QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_SportingGoods_StableAccessories_SM?hash=item20ad81fc59&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14 ... is this the kind of thing that I should be looking at getting?

Currently the ramp to the second floor is lined with roof felt with wooden slats every 3" or so. We are planning to make a new one, which is less steep, and lined with carpet. However, I'm a little worried that the carpet will also rub on the hocks?

Lastly, the room that she lives in is carpetted with a hard-wearing, cord type carpet (rented house - so we can't change this). As she is spending a hugely increased amount of time free-ranging in the downstairs of the house, and mostly in this room, I wonder if this could be a factor? The rest of the downstairs is either wooden flooring or tiled.

Would really appreciate any suggestions/recommendations from anyone who has knowledge of rexy set ups :) Thanks in advance :D
Claire
 
Hi everyone,

We have recently moved our mini rex doe indoors and so far she seems to be loving her new home :) However, last night I checked her back feet, and noticed a tiny bald patch on each of her hocks. The skin looks normal, and we were able to touch it without her wincing, so doesn't appear to be causing her any pain at the moment. She is not overweight, and we clip her nails regularly.

Her new house has lino on the ground floor, with fleecy blankets on top of half of this area. Her bed area is lined with towels and more fleece blankets. To prevent these bald patches from developing into anything worse I am planning on making some changes to this set up. I have read a number of RU threads about this, and was hoping to double check that the changes I have in mind are suitable?

I am thinking for half of the ground floor (approx 4' by 3'), that I will buy some vet bedding, for the other half (approx 6' by 3'), some rubber stable matting... http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/LOW-PRICED-EGGBOXED-EFFECT-STABLE-MAT-FREE-POSTAGE_W0QQitemZ140349930585QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_SportingGoods_StableAccessories_SM?hash=item20ad81fc59&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14 ... is this the kind of thing that I should be looking at getting?

Currently the ramp to the second floor is lined with roof felt with wooden slats every 3" or so. We are planning to make a new one, which is less steep, and lined with carpet. However, I'm a little worried that the carpet will also rub on the hocks?

Lastly, the room that she lives in is carpetted with a hard-wearing, cord type carpet (rented house - so we can't change this). As she is spending a hugely increased amount of time free-ranging in the downstairs of the house, and mostly in this room, I wonder if this could be a factor? The rest of the downstairs is either wooden flooring or tiled.

Would really appreciate any suggestions/recommendations from anyone who has knowledge of rexy set ups :) Thanks in advance :D
Claire

I would go with the vet bed definitely and use it in as many places as possible. I always pad it out from underneath with several layers of folded blankets or towels. Most importantly is the area she will be sitting around in - it is when buns are at rest (unless there are sores on the front of the feet or front feet) that the hocks are in most contact with the ground. I find the thermovetbed is a very maleable cushion and a blanket on top of this provides a lot of give to the feet. However, it is a special flectabed so will hold a lot of warmth - so if bun too warm indoors then not a good choice. (Great idea for sick buns though) Our dutchie loves his thermovet beds! :roll::lol:

If her hocks are showing just pink bald tips then this isn't sore hocks yet which is very good :D but it is a warning to get things sorted asap to prevent it getting worse. Many buns have pink tips on the heels. Being Rex she is going to be more prone.

As long as her front feet and toes are ok I would just stick with carpet on the ladder - buns run up ladders on their toes only. Same goes for hopping around - unless there is toe involvement or sores on the front feet you are going to be ok with areas of hopping.
As for the large area she spends time in with a hard wearing carpet? I would look at finding some cheap thin duvets from somewhere like Ikea or a supermarket, Tesco perhaps? and lay these on the floor in the areas she spends the most time - e.g her resting spots. If she is hopping around on the rest then she should be ok. It is the resting spots you need to focus mostly on. Minimising other risks elsewhere will also be helpful of course.
So yeah, just keep her nails as short as you can and keep an eye on her hock tips but don't put anything on them at this stage at all. Keeping her at a healthy weight will also help.

Can she exercise outside too? on soft lawn? this is great for buns. Good luck with your new rubber matting - no experience of it but it looks good. :)
 
Thanks for the great reply (as always! :D)

I will take a look at the thermovetbed, but as she has just come indoors, it may well be too warm for her. I am still leaving the windows open so she can adjust, which the oh is really not happy about :oops:

The duvet idea sounds good - I think we might even have a spare one up in the loft. Will have a hunt around and bring it downstairs for her. She does mostly run around when outside of her hutch, and go back inside to rest, but there a couple of spots that she prefers to sit in to groom, so will definitely make those more comfortable.

Our garden is not bunny-proofed, so for the past week she has not gone outside. Again, due to having a rented house, we can't do anything about securing the garden. However, I have ordered an 8' by 6' run, which should arrive this week. As soon as that arrives we will be able to give her some room to hop around on the grass again :)
 
Thanks for the great reply (as always! :D)

I will take a look at the thermovetbed, but as she has just come indoors, it may well be too warm for her. I am still leaving the windows open so she can adjust, which the oh is really not happy about :oops:

The duvet idea sounds good - I think we might even have a spare one up in the loft. Will have a hunt around and bring it downstairs for her. She does mostly run around when outside of her hutch, and go back inside to rest, but there a couple of spots that she prefers to sit in to groom, so will definitely make those more comfortable.

Our garden is not bunny-proofed, so for the past week she has not gone outside. Again, due to having a rented house, we can't do anything about securing the garden. However, I have ordered an 8' by 6' run, which should arrive this week. As soon as that arrives we will be able to give her some room to hop around on the grass again :)

Just wondering how unbunny proof your garden is? We rent too and fortunately have high walls and fences just borders and plants on offer not all bunny safe so we used a roll of wire and bamboo canes to fence off the borders so they have free access to the lawn under supervision. We can take up easily when we go. We also cut back hard any ovegrowing non-safe shrubs and plants :oops::lol: Just an idea if your situation was similar :wave:
 
The right hand side has a brick wall and the back has a fence, so they're fine. Unfortunately on the left hand side there is a hedge (not thick enough to stop cats, so a rabbit could definitely squeeze through) down 3/4 of the garden, then a 2' brick wall separating us from next door for the rest of the length, which she would have no problems jumping over. There are loads of cats around that seem to have no problems getting into the garden, which would be a worry. Plus the walkway from the back door to the lawn is prone to getting really damp and horrible.

There is also a huge amount of ivy that seems to grow through the hedge (from next door, who's garden looks like a jungle :shock:) and quite a lot of buttercups that I can't seem to get rid of from our lawn... :? I think that both of these are toxic to rabbits??

It's certainly something to think about, but I feel that there are perhaps too many things that we would have to fence off... by the time we had done that the area left might be not much bigger than a run anyway :roll:
 
When you guys puts blankets and bedding down for your bunnies, don't they just dig it up and move it around? Whenever I put something down they seem to want it out asap!
 
Luckily we don't have too much of a problem with this... she will re-arrange her bedding a bit, but still sleeps on a soft bit. The fleece blankets I'm using at the moment, I tuck under the edges of her 'house', so she can't move them around.

That said, she does like to dig at her vetbed cushion, so I'm hoping that she won't do the same when I line the floor with it (although I'll probably top it with blankets). I'll tuck it in at the edges, under ramps etc, so that (hopefully) it will be secure enough that she won't be able to move it. That's the plan anyway! :lol:
 
When you guys puts blankets and bedding down for your bunnies, don't they just dig it up and move it around? Whenever I put something down they seem to want it out asap!

Lola digs abit at blankets but then she also -slides' on them to flatten them out. I think she's like mummy and likes to tidy up :lol::lol:.
My other bunnies don't give a hoot! :)

I know alot of bunnies chew but i have no issues with mine when it comes to cushions and stuff, so they have a duvet each and duvet covers..so they don't eat any of the inner foamy bits in the duvet. These seem to work a treat and they love to flop on them!
 
I know alot of bunnies chew but i have no issues with mine when it comes to cushions and stuff, so they have a duvet each and duvet covers..

Aww - your bunnies have their own duvets! Lucky things :love:

Well, I have ordered 3 rolls of vetbed to line the floor and platforms of bunny's house, and a few more fleecy blankets for underneath/on top of the vetbed. I have also ordered some Megazorb litter rather than EcoStraw, which is what I have used up until now. Hopefully this should all arrive in the next couple of days, but in the meantime I have raided the house for all the towels and blankets we can spare, and have lined the floor with them. We have also replaced the ramps with carpetted ones (found the softest carpet tiles we could).

Fingers crossed this will prevent her hocks from getting any worse...
 
I have used foam tiles before and found them to be really good for sore hocks. You have to be carefully bunnies dont chew them and eat them though.
 
I have used foam tiles before and found them to be really good for sore hocks. You have to be carefully bunnies dont chew them and eat them though.

Brilliant, thank you :) Do you mind me asking where you got them from?
 
There is also a huge amount of ivy that seems to grow through the hedge (from next door, who's garden looks like a jungle :shock:) and quite a lot of buttercups that I can't seem to get rid of from our lawn... :? I think that both of these are toxic to rabbits??

You might be able to fence off an area for some fast burn free range time under close supervision?:? We did the fence around certain areas with the bamboo canes, and to block off the shed and compost bins we used the wire stapled on to the shed and across the fence. But perhaps our garden is more practical for this. We also ran 2ft wire along the top of the fence in areas that the bushes haven't grown up to stop the cats coming in - it really works! All removable when we move out. Anyway, we never leave ours out unsupervised - even though it is now very safe and surrounded by high fences - but it is nice for them to get some real speed up and have a good race around when we are out there with them. :D Exercise is good for keeping circulation going in buns with sore hocks - getting the wbc to the site of injury :) Our sore hocked foster bun (Belgian HareX) loved a good speed around despite his sore paws - the grass is nice and soft in Autumn/Winter.

Oh....reason i'm posting! :roll::oops: Buttercups - Ranunculus - posionous :( But apparently dried in hay in small amounts and the odd nibble does no harm - i'm forever digging it out of our lawn! :roll:
Ivy - common English Ivy - fine. Poison ivy - poisonous obviously! I'd be surprised it if was Poison Ivy - it's quite rare. English Ivy in berry - not safe though. :( Hope that helps - we have Ivy on the wall - buns ignore it unless it is winter and nothing else around to be naughty with.... odd nibble is fine but I do shoo them away. :D:wave:
 
Lovely - thank you for the calrification on those plants :)

I'll take a look tonight at whether it would be possible to fence off the problem areas - I really would love for her to get some proper exercise out there :) I'm not sure that we would ever be able to totally bunny proof the whole garden, but I imagine that we could construct a big 'pen' that runs around the outside of the lawn, which would give her plenty of space to build up some proper speed :lol: (she's hurtling around the house as I type!)
 
Sorry to bump this post but I didn't see the point in making a new one.

My Mini is showing signs of sore hocks developing. She and Mischa are in my room which currently has a hard carpet on it which I suspect is making it worse. I really really need to get rid of this carpet anyway so I'm trying to work out what would be best to replace it.

I have been wanting to lino the room for some time now to make clearing hay and stray poos easier. Would that work along with vetbed or a duvet or thick rug on the areas they frequent the most? They are nearly always on one particular side of my bed, between the bed and the door, so it would be quite easy to get a cheap duvet and put it downg.

I'm thinking this is an ideal time to sort this so am wanting lots of advice before I go lino the whole room and realise that something else would've been better!

I really would rather not have carpet if I can help it. I'd rather a rug or duvet I can shake out onto the lino and then sweep. I find a hoover very difficult to manoeuvre and tiring but if a thick carpet is the way to go I shall for the sake of my babies.
 
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