Corns: Not Just for Humans

February 4, 2013  

posted by HOH

There has been a good amount of information posted about corns & greyhounds on the internet, but since we’ve seen it appear fairly often with our adopted dogs – let’s talk about it some more!

That’s right, Greyhounds can get corns on their pads and as far as we’ve read, sighthounds are pretty much the only dogs that get them. It’s up for debate as to why, but some think they don’t have enough cushion between their pads and feet and others think it has something to do with racing. The latter doesn’t seem to be true because many of the dogs we’ve seen corns on never were racers at all. Either way, you need to be educated about what they are, how to identify when your dog may have one (or more) and what to do about it.

What are corns?

Corns are callouses or thickened layers of skin on your dog’s paw, usually in a small circular or oval shape. They will either be in the center of the paw or (if you’re lucky) near the edge so a portion of it might be jutting out, making it easier to remove. Visit Google Images for some examples of what they look like. Ouch, right?

Corns can be very painful for your dog and many times they will stop using that foot altogether or you’ll notice a limp or favoring of their leg. If you notice this in your hound, check their paws right away.

What do I do about them?

One of our favorite descriptions of corns & greyhounds is on the Greyhound Welfare site. They list out the options about your options to treat the corns and we highly recommend you take a look!  In our experience, the best option is to have your veterinarian “hull” the corn out with a dental root elevator. It’s not a painful procedure that requires no sedation. When done correctly, your dog shouldn’t even feel pain. The vet will basically just loosen it free from the pad.

We do not recommend any surgical procedures to remove a corn from the pad unless it’s absolutely your last resort. In most cases, it’s unnecessary and the corn will probably come back in time anyway, so unless you really want to put your dog under everytime it comes back, stick with the lesser procedure if possible. Some vets will insist on surgery and may not have much experience with this type of scenario, so if you are in this situation in the Central Oklahoma area, please let us know and we are happy to recommend a local vet who has experience removing corns. Some of our fosters have had corns that needed removal and it was a quick & pain free process for them.

If the corn is large and protruding enough, you may be able to remove the it yourself if you have a compliant hound. It’s not recommended for everyone, but if you feel comfortable and you have your hound in a relaxed state where you can gentle work on their paw, you may be able to loosen it up in time.

Does your dog get corns? Do you have a remedy to keep them from coming back? Let us know what’s worked for you in the comments below.

Good luck!


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