Rabbits and sore hock, pt. 2 – how to wrap a rabbit’s leg

by Wolf June 01, 2016

In the last post, we talked about how sore hock happens, and how we can avoid it.  Below we’ve got some nifty instructions for wrapping sore hocks. 

But first, a few important warnings:  do NOT cover up sore hocks with any broken skin without a visit to the vet.  If there is any infection, that will need to be treated so it doesn’t become a monster problem.  Medications might be necessary, and you don’t want a surface infection turning into a bone infection.


Also, know that you have to change bandages and check the area EVERY 3-4 DAYS.  Things under that bandage can change quickly, and you don’t want anything festering.  Nasty word, festering, but perfect to convey what can go on.  If infection or sores crop up, it is off to the vet.

One last note.  We are going to talk about spare fur.  This is important as the padding under the bandage.  Don’t try using wadded up gauze bandages, or moleskin, or anything else.  Spare fur is the thing.  THE THING.  Anything else will only cause your animal further irritation.

You’ll need a big wad of “spare” rabbit (left over from grooming, or you can “harvest” some using a flea comb or rubber grooming glove). “Felt” this wad of fur by rubbing it between your hands.  Don’t use any water or anything to help this along – just the fur.  You want it to be about 2″ x 2″ x 1″.

pododermatitis, ulcerative pododermatitis, bumblefoot

Grab some vet wrap, the self-adhesive kind, about nine inches long and two inches wide. Feel free to pick a lovely color of vet wrap.  Style matters.  Take this strip and cut it into an “H” shape, as shown in the drawing below. Leave about one inch UNCUT in between the “H” cuts, just like in the pic.

vet wrap, house rabbit, pet rabbit, foot wrap

This uncut portion is the bit that will be over your animal’s heel.

 Cradle your animal on her back, and press the felt pad against the back area of the foot, and very gently fold as much of the rabbit’s own foot fur over the bare spot as possible.

Now the tricky part.  Place the vet wrap into position like this:

skin ulcer, skin infection

Time to wrap.  Be super careful about how tightly you wrap.  You should be able to put a flattened plastic straw between the bandage and the leg without the straw getting stuck. On the other hand, if the wrap is too loose it will shift and move.  So it may take some practice to get the tension right as you wrap.

timothy hay, hay, alfalfa, aflafa, alpha hay

Once you get the hang of it, it will look like this:

rabbit health, rabbit care

Almost there.  See those parts all crunched up where the leg bands?  We need to do something about that so it doesn’t hurt and cause more problems.  Get out your round-tipped scissors and VERY CAREFULLY, ONE LAYER AT A TIME, cut away part of the bandage where the joint bends.  Like this:

how to wrap a rabbit leg, how to wrap a rabbit paw, carefresh, paper bedding

You did it!  We promise, it gets easier with practice.  Eventually, fur will start to grow back. And don’t forget to make any changes necessary to the living area.

Need a good source for nice soft, absorbent bedding?  We can take care of that for you.  We’ll bring it right to your door.

Here’s to furry footsies!

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