Are plastic mats effective for diminishing pododermatitis in rabbit does? A survey after 10 years in the Netherlands

Rommers, J.M.; de Greef, K.H.


At four farms in The Netherlands (10% of all farms), footpad injuries were scored to evaluate whether a plastic mat attached to the wire mesh floor is effective in diminishing serious footpad lesions in rabbit does, 10 years after the plastic mat was made mandatory in rabbit does cages in The Netherlands. Footpad injuries were scored once (scoring 0-3) in 100 does at each farm. Parity and footpad score were registered. The number of young does (≤ 2 litters) was limited to 25% per farm, as footpad injuries are mostly seen in older does. Farms were quite comparable in footpad scores, the average footpad score ranged from 0.8 to 1.1. On average 43% of the does had intact footpads, 55% had a callus and 2.5% had cracks in the callus, no wounds were observed. Based on the results, rabbit does housed in the wire floor cages furnished with plastic mats show no serious injuries to the footpads. The earlier expectation and the ambition of the regulation that the plastic mat prevents pododermatitis is clearly met.