|The information on this page is for educational purposes only and should never be used as a substitute for seeing your own veterinarian, with your pet, for a
complete examination and individually prescribed treatment.
MEDICAL & PHYSIOLOGYby Carol Machery DVM
WHAT ARE THEY?
(click pictures for enlargement)
These are hard, painful areas found on the digital pads of Greyhounds.
A Greyhound may have 1 or more corns, and they may vary in size and exact location on the pads.
They all share the generally circular appearance, the hard core, and they are consistently painful at least to some extent.
As these pictures show, corns extend deep into the pad. It’s easy to see why walking becomes so very painful for the “corn dogs”. Affected Greyhounds seek soft surfaces for walking – grass and carpet – rather than hard pavement or flooring.
Any lameness examination on a Greyhound MUST include
an examination of each pad for the presence of a corn.
WHAT CAUSES THEM?
The exact cause remains uncertain and that discussion will be left to others. It does seem to be an almost exclusive Greyhound affliction. One non-Greyhound (perhaps a lurcher?) did present to our hospital with a true corn:
HOW CAN THEY BE TREATED?
- Flatten the corn
|By rasping, Dremeling, or filing the corn flat, the painful pressure on the inside of the pad is relieved. The corn will reform and, as the pressure mounts, and the pain will return. This does provide temporary relief, however. Some corns will need to be flattened as often as every few weeks but this is something most Greyhound owners can learn to do at home.
- Soften the corn – apply any of the keratolytic agents like KeraSolv or human corn softener.
- Cushion the corn
|Specially made Therapaw Boots have proven to be extremely helpful to Greyhounds with corns. The cushioning sole protects the sensitive pads, especially while walking on pavement and sidewalks. These boots are different than other every-day protective boots. Follow the link to the right.
- Shell or hull out the corn –
|This procedure should only be done by a veterinarian with the proper tools. It does allow for a deeper removal of the embedded corn, without resorting to surgery, and seems to give the Greyhound a longer period of relief than filing or dremeling. Again, the corn may return.For a more complete description of the procedure, click on the picture to the right or here.
- Surgery – A deeper more invasive removal can be attempted by scalpel or laser excision.
- Fat implants – Auburn university is implanting a fat pad in the digit to see if by providing better cushioning, it might prevent recurrence of the corns.
- Amputation – a last resort. While it removes the painful corn permanently, there is a real possibility that another corn will appear on another digit.
CAN THEY BE CURED?
Corns can resolve permanently, although in some cases, they seem to disappear only to return later. In other cases, they never regress but require regular maintenance to keep your Greyhound walking as painlessly as possible.
This page last updated 12/09/2007