Corns and Treatment Methods
Corns: An Overview
What are corns and where do they come from?
Corns are hard protuberances that appear on the pads of greyhound feet. They may initially present as a tiny dot that eventually gets bigger until the corn breaks through the pad. They can grow quite large if left unchecked and are extremely painful for greyhounds. Imagine walking around with a pebble in your shoe that you cannot get rid of. Add that to the multitude of nerve endings in dog feet and you will get some idea of why they are so painful. No other breed of dog is known to get them, except for lurchers, which are greyhound crosses.
It is not clear why corns form. There are various theories, but none has been proven. One thought is that a corn is caused by a foreign object imbedding in the pad, and the pad forming a hard callus around the object. Another theory is that greyhounds do not have enough fat cushion in their toe pads, and the corn is caused by pressure between the toe bone and pad. Finally, there is the belief that they are caused by some sort of virus. Given the response to antiviral medications post-removal, there seems to be a good deal of credence to this theory and it is widely accepted. According to Care of the Racing and Retired Greyhound :
The term “corns” covers two different abnormalities with common clinical signs. On the bottom of the toe pads, they are either fibrous scar tissue following traumas such as cuts, punctures or lacerations…or they are papillomas (warts)…The latter is the most common reason for “corns” and is caused by a virus…The pressure and abrasion of walking prevents the papilloma from growing normally on the surface of the body. As a result, a corn develops and is pressed in the deeper layers of the pad forming a white, flat, circular painful area…(246)
In fact, toes are sometimes amputated because of stubborn corns. Thus, corns are not a malady of an aging greyhound, but of any greyhound, young or old, male or female.
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.
How do I know if my dog has a corn?
If you find your dog has come up lame, it is always wise to check the feet first and foremost. Corns are generally round in appearance and may have raised edges or a pale ring around them. They are particularly characterized by the dog’s seeming soundness on softer surfaces, including grass and carpet, but lameness on harder surfaces such as concrete, asphalt and gravel. You may notice that your dog is choosing to walk on grass as opposed to pavement on walks.
Upon inspection of the dog’s feet, you may notice a lesion. To see if it is an actual corn and not a “corn-like lesion,” have the dog stand up and pick up the foot. Grasping the toe from each side, give it a firm but gentle squeeze. If it’s a corn, the dog will likely pull back his foot. Additionally, when you release the paw, he will likely be reluctant to put weight on the foot. Again, corns may be very small to very large, so do a careful inspection of each toe. Even the tiniest corn can cause a great deal of discomfort.Note:
Unless you have a vet who is very greyhound savvy, he or she may have never seen a corn before and will very likely miss the diagnoses. Insist on the feet being checked very carefully and go armed to your vet with material on corns and their treatment.
So my dog has a corn, now what?
Keep in mind that corns are painful and treatment is a must. There are various methods of treatment, but what you decide to do depends on you, your dog and your vet.Hulling
The first, and most preferred, method is to have the corn “hulled” by a vet using a dental root elevator. This instrument is like a cross between an ice-pick and a spatula. The vet will use it to gently elevate the corn out of its bed, eventually freeing it from the pad. Although there will be a hole left in the pad, this method is not painful, does not require sedation or anesthesia and provides almost instant relief. Follow-up treatment using Abreva or Aldara is recommended. Anecdotal reports regarding the application of these anti-viral medications to the corn bed indicate that the corns return either smaller or not at all, so this is a positive step. For more information on the hulling techniqueFiling or Dremeling
Some people have been successful in using a Dremel or file to grind the corn flush with the pad. While this may provide some relief, the corn will reform so the owner must be very diligent.Softening
Applying KeraSolve or other human corn medicine may result in some improvement. Likewise, soaking the foot in Epsom salts may serve to draw the corn out so that it can be more easily removed using tweezers or even with just a good squeeze. Others have found success using Bag Balm
and applying tea tree oil to the site of the corn itself. This treatment serves to keep the pad and corn as soft as possible, thereby alleviating pain.
Note: Tea tree oil is poisonous to dogs so it should only be used on dogs who can be prevented from licking their paw pads.Duct Tape
Repeated application of duct tape to the corn will essentially hull it, but it can take a long time (weeks) and hulling is probably a better option for more immediate pain relief.Therapaws
Use of Therapaw boots may greatly relieve your dog’s pain between hullings or if the corn is not yet ready to be removed. These boots are specially designed with a cushioned sole and high shanks to fit skinny greyhound legs without falling off. Surgery
Generally, corn surgery is not recommended. For surgery, the dog would have to be placed under anesthesia and the pad cut open. The incision may be very deep and healing may be difficult. You also open up the possibility of infection. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the corn won’t simply come back. If you must have surgery performed, laser surgery is likely the best way to go.Amputation
Amputation should be used as a last resort. As with surgery, however, there is no guarantee that the corn won’t return on another toe.
TREATMENT OPTIONSFrozol Ice
It contains 0.8% Chlorbutol and 10.91% Salicylic Acid.
Comes in a 10 ml bottle. Made by Riley Williams PTY Ltd, 289 Arthur Street, Fairfield Victoria 3078Liquid Liquorice
100ml of liquid liquorice, mix a few drops of lemon juice with a teaspoon of liquorice put on day and night .it works.Duck Tape
Cut a 1" piece of duck tape and stick it to your fridge. Every couple days, take a pair of scissors and cut off a square perhaps 1cm x 1 cm - not much bigger than the corn. Stick it over the corn. Don't put anything else on there - no salves, no creams, nuthin. Leave the tape on for a couple days, checking daily for wear. As it wears it will curl up around the edges. When it gets too curled up or has come off due to rain or damp grass, cut another piece off your fridge door and repeat. Within a couple of weeks the corn can be worked out by prying with a fingernail or if you continue the corn will come off with the duck tape.
Dr. Scholl's Corn/Callus Remover Liquid - Dr. Scholl's
2 drops morning and 2 drops evening
Bazuka Extra Strength Gel - Dendron
‘’I had the problem with one of ours, Try using Bazoka cream. Good for warts,corns and Varokas. Cave the area 1st in warm diluted antiseptic, then rub the cream only on the corn. do this twice a day, until cleared. It worked on our boy and he had three at the time’’
‘’The only complete cure for corns that is certain to work and they fall out after about ten days the entire growth roots and all is to freeze the wart with intense cold
the vet needs to have a flask of liquid nitrogen same as container for holding straws of semen for AI
it is completely painless and absolutely guaranteed to work.
You just apply the nitrogen to affected area for 10 minutes and as warts are a living growth the intense cold kills them after a week they turn black and then then loosen their grip and fall out in a few more days
When they are freezed the growth completely dies and every scrap falls out never to re grow.’’
Salactol Wart Paint 10ml - Salactol
Carnation Footcare Corn Caps x 10 - Carnation
Are you sure is a corn not a callus?
by Des Fegan
Normal skin is an elastic structure that is able to withstand a considerable degree of stress, friction and pressure of various types without harm.
However, repeated stress either from external or internal pressure can trigger overgrowth of the outer or horny layer of the skin to form a callus. They may form on a skin area like the elbow or hock as a result of the dog lying on hard surfaces, such as wood or concrete. Fluid may accumulate beneath the skin in the area, particularly on the elbow, and give rise to an unsightly bursa.
Treatment merely involves supplying the dog with soft bedding, such as straw, paper or compound rubbers, or shredded newspaper.
The proper function of the epidermis is to form cells and for them to pass to the surface and cornify. The rate at which they grow is determined by the work the skin has to do.
A callus, therefore, is basically a natural or physiological process. It is essentially an adaptive process, ie. it is an attempt on the part of the tissue to accommodate itself to an extra stress beyond the normal skin requirements. Corns are a variation on a callus. They are calluses that form within a pad and are quite obvious when the pad is thoroughly cleaned and observed under strong light. They are circular, about 3mm in diameter, and painful to palpate. The greyhound is frequently lame but unusually the racing form is consistently good.
A corn is triggered by a point of pressure within the pad, and there can be multiple causes of this pressure.
For example, previous facture of the bones of the toe could lead to an abnormal pressure point within the pad or there may be an insult form infection or leaking tendon fluid, or even a penetrating foreign body retained within the pad. When a corn is formed, the fact that the dog is standing on the damaged pad tissue compresses the callus into a concentrated core.
It is this core formation that differentiates a corn from a callus. It is vital that a cause for the corn be investigated. This will certainly involve a visit to your veterinarian and probably an x-Ray of the offending pad. Corns are best treated by paring or removal, but remember always that if the corn is caused by damage to the structural bone architecture then it will be a recurring problem.
Persistent "corns" may be viral or fungal conditions
1) In the morning express the corns and clean out the cavity with peroxide, use a squeeze bulb or syringe to clean out the cavity to remove small debris
2), soak the foot in and flush out the cavity with Dakin's solution twice the a day (use a syringe) for 2-4 days depending on the rate of healing
Homemade basic Dakin's solution
mix 32 ounces of boiled or distilled water , 1/4 tsp baking soda dissolved in the water this is easier in hot water ,3 ounces (100 ml) plain Clorox 5.25 % sodium hypochlorite
toss out any remaining solution after a couple of days and make a fresh batch.
this also helps with weeping sand burns on the webs and infected cuticlesCorn Vet UK
Daniel Doherty of Uxbridge
55991…44…1895 271444 UK
258 Cowley Road
UB8 2NJ 01895 271 444
2 tabs in the morning and 2 tabs in the evening feed
Castor oil, the kind you buy at the drug store, is often effective at removing corns. Rub in a drop two 2-3 times a day. I have no idea, why or how, but it has worked on corns a greyhound of mine had. Pad Heal seems to work as well. I used some on a current dog who came up with a corn and it seemed to get rid of it as well.
Bee Propolis Tinture
cream from here
lessor extent fungal conditions
1) core and express the 'corns"/ seed wart cavity then clean out the cavity with peroxide, use a squeeze bulb or syringe to to remove any small debris
2), keep the foot clean and soak the foot in and flush out the cavity with Dakin's solution twice the a day (use a syringe) for 2-4 days depending on the rate of healing Homemade basic Dakin's solution
mix 32 ounces of boiled / bottled or distilled water , 1/2 tsp baking soda dissolved in the water this is easier in hot water add 3 ounces (100 ml) plain Clorox 5.25 % sodium hypochlorite
this also helps with weeping sand burns on the webs and infected cuticles
Dakins solution is an effective and inexpensive antibacterial ,antiviral and fungicide solution with extremely low associated cell damage promoting rapid healing and a greatly reduced bacterial and viral environment ,,,,, also clean and bleach the kennel and treat any parasites or other infections ,gums, ears 'eyes etc that may be stressing the immune system