It’s important to give your furry friend the very best doggy healthcare to make sure they’re happy, healthy, and comfortable. For this reason, you should check out common dog health issues with each breed before you welcome them into your family so that you’re fully prepared to get and pay for veterinary care.
Greyhounds are a fairly healthy dog breed. However, they are prone to joint issues later in life due to their racing background and delicate frame, and they also suffer from corns on their feet.
What are Corns?
Dog corns are a type of callus or thickened skin that can develop on the paw pads of dogs, particularly Greyhounds. They appear as small, circular, raised bumps that can be sensitive to the touch and cause pain and discomfort for the dog when walking or running.
Corns, also known as Keratomas or hock corns, are a rare ailment in dogs and are usually reserved for people. Greyhounds are known to get them fairly regularly, and some people feel this is also due to their past in racing.
What Do Greyhound Corns Look Like?
The first sign that your Greyhound has corns on their paw might be that they’re limping. This is most likely to happen on solid surfaces such as concrete or tarmac, you may not see it as much on soft surfaces such as grass.
This is because the corn may be solid, meaning it’s more difficult and painful to walk in an area with more pressure.
You will notice them for their round appearance, often surrounded by a white circle or raised edge. They will most likely appear in your dog’s foot pads.
Why Do Greyhounds Get Corns?
Several factors contribute to the development of Greyhound corns. Understanding these causes can help prevent their occurrence, we check out the most common ones:
Racing Background and History
First, people feel that ex-racing dogs are more prone to corns on their foot pads. This is due to the strain and pressure they put on their feet when they sprint. This is like people wearing heels repeatedly and developing corns due to the uneven pressure on each toe.
Greyhounds are known to race for the first few years of their life. They usually retire into a family home at the age of 3, as they don’t have the intense energy they used to have.
However, this theory isn’t foolproof, as some Greyhounds that have never raced have also been known to develop corns. It can’t always be racing that causes a problem.
Greyhounds, particularly racing lines, can be genetically predisposed to developing corns. The conformation and structure of their paws, such as high pasterns and small digital pads, contribute to increased pressure on specific areas, making them more susceptible to corn formation.
Theory three is simply that an old abrasion with scarred tissue has become solidified and painful as it puts pressure on the softer tissue underneath.
Whatever the reason for the development of corns, you need to focus on treatment, home remedies, and removal when your dog gets them.
Poor Foot Care and Maintenance
Neglecting proper foot care and maintenance can also contribute to corn development in greyhounds. Failure to trim nails regularly, clean paws after walks, or provide suitable paw pad moisturization can increase the risk of corn formation.
Are Greyhound Corns Painful?
Sometimes, corns can be incredibly painful for your Greyhound, especially if they need to walk on solid surfaces. This is because more pressure is placed upon an already tender area.
The longer you leave corns, the worse they can get. It may become more painful for your pup to walk over time.
Symptoms and Signs
Greyhounds with corns may exhibit various symptoms, including limping, favoring certain paws, reluctance to walk or exercise, licking or chewing at the affected paws, and visible thickening or discoloration of the paw pads.
It’s important to monitor your greyhound’s paw health regularly and seek veterinary assistance if you notice any of these signs.
Diagnosing Corns in Greyhounds
Veterinarians will typically perform a thorough physical examination of the greyhound’s paws to diagnose corns. They will inspect the affected areas for the presence of hard, raised lesions and evaluate the level of pain or discomfort experienced by the dog.
Radiography and Imaging
In some cases, radiography or other imaging techniques may be necessary to rule out other underlying conditions or assess the extent of the corns. X-rays can help determine if there are any deep-seated corns or associated bone abnormalities.
Treatment and Management
It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact cure, simply because there are multiple suspected reasons for the occurrence of corns. However, vets recommend the following options:
Conservative approaches are often the first line of treatment for corns in greyhounds. These can include trimming the corns, sanding or filing them down, and using supportive padding or cushioning to reduce pressure on the affected areas.
Anti-inflammatory medications or topical creams may be prescribed to alleviate pain and inflammation.
In more severe cases, medical interventions may be required. These can involve laser therapy, cryotherapy, or the application of medications to dissolve the corns. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the most suitable course of action for your greyhound.
The use of a scalpel under anesthesia or digital amputation using lasers could remove the corn completely in a few minutes.
However, there will be a recovery process after this time. This may mean that your dog won’t be able to walk and you will need to medicate with painkillers and ointment.
You should also consider that Greyhounds sometimes don’t react well to anesthesia. If your dog is old, this may factor into your decision.
Vets may prescribe emollients or keratolytic accompanied by an Animalintex poultice to gradually soften the corn.
If the corn isn’t too severe and you’re comfortable using a home remedy to see if you can avoid stressful veterinary trips, then apple cider vinegar could work.
Simply add the vinegar to warm water and have your Greyhound soak their foot for a few minutes, 3 times a day. This will soften the corn and allow you to gradually wear away the tough skin with a pumice stone.
Preventing Corns in Greyhounds
Regular Foot Care
Regular foot care is vital in preventing corn formation in greyhounds. This includes routine nail trimming, paw pad moisturization using appropriate products, and regular cleaning to remove dirt or debris that can contribute to corn development.
Proper Nutrition and Weight Management
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for greyhounds to avoid excessive stress on their paw pads. A balanced diet and portion control are crucial aspects of preventing corns and maintaining overall well-being.
Suitable Exercise and Activity
Providing your greyhound with suitable exercise and activity can help prevent corns. Avoid walking or running on rough surfaces and consider using protective booties during outdoor activities to minimize friction and pressure on the paw pads.
Living with a Greyhound with Corns
Providing Comfort and Support
If your greyhound develops corns, it’s essential to provide them with a comfortable living environment. Ensure soft bedding, avoid hard or abrasive surfaces, and consider using paw pad protectors or booties to minimize discomfort and protect the corns.
Monitoring and Adjusting Treatment
Regularly monitor your greyhound’s corns and observe any changes or worsening of symptoms. Work closely with your veterinarian to adjust the treatment plan if necessary and seek their guidance on pain management and monitoring the progress of healing.
Maintaining Regular Veterinary Check-ups
Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for greyhounds with corns. These appointments allow for ongoing evaluation of the corns, adjustment of treatment plans, and identification of any potential complications or underlying issues that may require attention.
What Happens if You Don’t Treat Greyhound Corns?
Ultimately, if a corn goes untreated, your Greyhound will find it more and more difficult and painful to walk. It may even result in other health issues due to lack of exercise.
As soon as you notice a corn developing, you should seek treatment. As Greyhounds are also prone to joint and hip problems later in life, a lack of exercise could lead to larger, less fixable problems that your dog won’t be able to recover from. This will also cost much more in the long run.
Do Corns Ever Disappear on their Own?
Depending on the cause, some corns will disappear forever after a full removal. However, lots of them do return. If your dog has suffered from corns previously, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them going forward.
Prevention is cheaper than cure. So, if you catch a corn early, then it’s better for you and your furry friend.
It’s rare that a corn will disappear on its own if left untreated, but it’s not unheard of. Sometimes, if your dog is walking on rough surfaces, or possibly even sand, the corn is rubbed away naturally if the dog is active. But keep a close eye on this, as it’s really not guaranteed.
If you notice your dog limping or struggling to walk without being in obvious pain, check their pads for corns. Corns can get worse over time if not dealt with properly. So, it’s a good idea to seek veterinary attention right away.
The longer you leave the corn, the worse it will get, leaving your Greyhound at risk of larger health problems.