Greyhound Corns: Causes, Treatment and Care

It’s important to give your furry friend 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. Corns, also known as Keratomas and hock corns, are a rare ailment in dogs and are usually reserved for people. However, 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. 

dog surgery on corns

Why Do Greyhounds Get Corns?

There are three main theories on this. 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 the racing that causes a problem. 

Theory number two is that the corns result from a virus named the papillomavirus, which Greyhounds are prone to due to their shared genes. 

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.

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. 

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How Do You Get Rid of Corns on Greyhounds?

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 treatment:

Removal

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. 

Prescribed Ointments

Vets may prescribe emollients or keratolytic accompanied by an Animalintex poultice to gradually soften the corn. 

Home Remedies

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. 

Greyhound corns treatment

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 the 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. 

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Summary

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. 

Evan S. Conaway

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