Small Mammal Pododermatitis

Small mammal pododermatitis, also known as bumblefoot, is a condition that affects rabbits, guinea pigs, and other small mammals. It’s associated with thickened or inflamed skin on the feet and toes of an animal. The condition can range from mild to severe and can be caused by a variety of factors.

The most common cause of small mammal pododermatitis is poor hygiene and living conditions. Animals that live in dirty or overcrowded enclosures are at a higher risk of developing the condition due to poor sanitation and lack of appropriate foot care. Animals that have been kept on wire floors for extended periods of time can suffer from pododermatitis as the feet become irritated by the abrasive surface. Other causes can include injuries or trauma to the feet such as from a cage accident or trauma caused by rough handling.

The most common symptoms of pododermatitis include thickening of the skin, redness, swelling, and pain in the affected areas. In severe cases, open sores and ulcers can develop which can lead to infection. If an animal is suspected of having pododermatitis, it should be taken to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. Treatment usually consists of antibiotics, pain relief medication, and wound care. The living conditions should be improved in order to prevent recurrence of the condition.

Symptoms of Small Mammal Pododermatitis

  • Skin thickening
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain in the affected areas
  • Open sores and ulcers
  • Infection

Diagnosing Small Mammal Pododermatitis

In order to diagnose small mammal pododermatitis, your veterinarian will need to examine the animal’s feet and toes. They might also take a sample of skin or tissue for testing or take radiographs to assess any underlying bone or joint damage. Once a diagnosis is made, your veterinarian will discuss an appropriate treatment plan with you.

Stages of Small Mammal Pododermatitis

Stage 1

Mild thickening and skin redness on their feet and toes.

Stage 2

The thickened skin creates blisters or wounds that are painful to the animal.

Stage 3

Open sores and ulcers form, which can lead to infection. Severe cases can require surgery.

Treating Small Mammal Pododermatitis

Treating small mammal pododermatitis typically includes antibiotics, pain relief medication, and wound care. Improving the living conditions and giving them appropriate foot care can help lower the chances of pododermatitis happening.

Preventing Small Mammal Pododermatitis

The best way to prevent small mammal pododermatitis is to maintain a clean and safe living environment for your pet. Ensure that the surfaces of their enclosures are not too abrasive or uncomfortable. You’ll want to make sure your pet has regular foot care such as trimming nails and feet cleaning. It’s also important to monitor them for any changes in behavior that can indicate pain or discomfort in the feet.