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What are Greyhound Corns?

What are Greyhound Corns?

Greyhounds commonly develop corns which are very painful and uncomfortable for your greyhound or whippet. Due to the paw pad skin not producing enough fatty tissue, a hard circular blister-like spot appears making your greyhound limp, not weight bear and find long walks hard.

Greyhound Corn Boots here

Greyhound Corn Symptoms

You might have noticed your greyhound limp. The most common greyhound corn signs are:

  • A hard circular corn forming on one or more paw digitals
  • 80% of corns appear in the central digit on a paw
  • The greyhound corn can be very hard and almost tough to touch
  • Your greyhound will most likely limp and not be able to go on long walks
  • Your greyhound will most likely be in a lot of pain
  • A corn can appear on front or back paws
  • You can get one corn or more appearing at once
  • Corns can come and go naturally, but it is not always a given then will go naturally

Bingo, two corns on back feet

Bingo, two corns on back feet

"He has small corns on his back feet which cause him to limp occasionally and lift his feet. Finally got the right size and Bingo is enjoying them"

Bingo uses Hunnyboots
"He has been limping badly for a couple of months with great discomfort"

"He has been limping badly for a couple of months with great discomfort"

Best Boots for Corns Here

What medical conditions cause Greyhound Corns

Current research summarises that greyhounds, as a breed, have reduced fatty tissue in their pads compared to other dog breeds. With less fatty tissue and repeat exercise, the paw pad skin reacts by thickening and forming a corn which causes a source of considerable lameness especially when exercising on hard ground.

  • Approximately 80% of corns are found in the central digit of your greyhounds paw
  • A corn is a hard mass of keratin - the same protein we find in our skin
  • A corn develops into a hard-circular mass with a deep root that impinges on the underlying flexor tendon and its bony attachment
  • Almost all research worldwide has shown there is no link to a particular virus, instead it is linked to the greyhounds particular skin type and repeat use explained above
  • The best evidence is that the greyhound corn will exfoliate and disappear if the pressure is taken off the pad, which is why many dog owners use boots as an alternative to surgery or pre / post surgery

How to help around the house

It is a good idea to get your greyhound wearing boots while outside and on walks. You can also get your greyhound to wear boots inside the house, or you may like to think about greyhound slippers that have a large rubber sole for extra grip, these are especially beneficial on slippery wooden floors. We recommend looking at the Hunnyboot Slippers here.

What age does a Greyhound get a Corn

A greyhound or whippet can be any age to get a corn. It does not depend on how active they are, but to keep them active and out and about we recommend you buy a pair of boots to protect the area and to soften the corn when walking, to ofter more comfort. Some greyhound owners find that by using boots, their greyhounds corn reduces and goes.

Jasmine, one front corn

Jasmine, one front corn

"My greyhound is very happy wearing her one Hunnyboot, which I bought to cushion a corn on one of her toe pads. She now walks without a limp, even on rougher ground. The boot is easy to get on and off (with Hunnyboot sock), and stays on well during walks."

Jasmine uses hunnyboots
Poppy, corn in front left paw

Poppy, corn in front left paw

"Poppy is 7 years old and suffered from corns in her left front paw for most of her life, we’ve had the corns hulled numerous times, at least once every 3 to 4 weeks so eventually we took the decision for her to have flexor tendon surgery which hasn’t really worked, she still limps. Yours have been life changing. Rather than having to coax / drag 🙄 her a long on walks because she’ll not walk on surfaces like tarmac or loose stone"

poppy wears hunnyboots

What is Greyhound Corn ‘Tendonectomy’ or 'Flexor Tenotomy' surgery

This is when the flexor tendon of the affected toe is surgically cut just below the wrist or the hock in a greyhound. This procedure is called a tendonectomy. The rationale behind this approach is that cutting the flexor tendon unloads the pad, reducing the pressure, causing the lameness to resolve and the corn to grow out and disappear.

  • It is considered simple to perform and recovery relatively quick. Within about 10 days the surgery site would have healed, and the lameness should improve
  • A study of 29 greyhounds with corns treated with Tendonectomy surgery found 26 of the 29 greyhounds improvement at Day 7
  • Three greyhounds did not show an improvement had pre-existing conditions that affected their recovery. At the 6–8-week period only 21 dogs remained in the study and of these 17 showed NO lameness and four dogs has slight lameness remaining
  • All owners were satisfied with the outcome and the dogs were happier and willing to exercise normally

Treatment for Greyhounds with Corns

There are many as is often the case when there is none that gives reliable results.

Any treatment that does not remove the entire corn will result in recurrence and this includes hulling and the various lotions.

  1. Conservative management: the protruding hard tissue is regularly filed down and a protective boot fitted for exercise.

2. Lotions and creams: these consist of chemicals that will dissolve, soften or burn the corn and again will need regular applications.

3. Surgery:

Surgery 1: Excision is a surgical procedure that removes the entire corn with suturing of the greyhound pad. Complete surgical excision has been shown to give the best long term results but about 50% of corns will have recurred in a year. The reason for the failures is that the underlying anatomical cause has not been addressed and in many cases this will not be obvious as it can be a result of previous injury, degenerative change of possibly conformation as seen with corns appearing in the same digit on both fore feet.

Surgery 2: Amputation of the last joint preserving the greyhound pad. Amputation of the last joint can produce a permanent resolution of the corn but in many cases this will be unsuccessful due to the difficulty in positioning the pad in an unnatural position over the stump of the toe.

4. Hulling is popular and involves digging out the corn with a dental elevator or Dremel drill.

5. Amputation of the entire digit. The ultimate treatment is amputation of the entire digit permanently removing the problem and it usually has no untoward consequences.

6. Flexor Tenotomy. Flexor tenotomy has given excellent results to date and taken these dogs out of pain giving them back a great quality of life.

Zoomadog Customers: How to Help Your Greyhound

Greyhounds with Corns

Looking for help with your greyhound and corns?

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