For those of you with a greyhound with corns you know how painful they can be for your pup. If you don't own a corn dog, thank your lucky stars and knock on wood. These nasty little hard spots often cause lameness in greyhounds and only greyhounds for some unknown reason.
Seka has two corns, one on each of her back feet. Most of the time she manages okay on carpeted floors. It's on any hard surface that she has problems, which includes asphalt, tile, hardwood - pretty much any floor that doesn't have a rug on it she will limp or totally refuse to use one of her back feet, depending on which one is hurting the most that day. I equate it to walking around with a rock in your shoe that you can't get rid of.
We've tried a lot of home remedies to soften the corns including using wart remover and covering her pads with duct tape. Some people have used Abreva (an over-the-counter cold sore medication) with some success. We put a nightly application of Bag Balm on her pads to keep them as soft as possible, but nothing gets through that hard, calcified tissue. Many vets turn to coring out the corn with a special dental instrument, which basically pops out the hard part of the corn from the pad, but everyone who has ever had this done to one of their corn dogs will tell you that they come back nine times out of ten. So, there's not a lot treatment options available to our corn dogs.
In October, the corn on Seka's "lucky foot" (the one with three toes) fell off while coursing. I figured it would come back, but (knock on wood) it hasn't reared its ugly head yet. I attribute the switch to feeding raw to keeping this corn at bay. The way I look at it - no binders and fillers in her food, mean nothing for the virus to bind to in her body.
But the corn on her good foot kept getting bigger and bigger, and last week it mostly fell off. Usually when the corn gets so big that it falls off it offers her a few weeks of comfort, but not this time. In fact, she steadily got worse and even stopped using her foot all together on the carpet on Tuesday. So I called Dr. Hottie's office and worked ourselves into their schedule at 10a that morning to get Seka some pain meds to help her through the holidays.
Now, Dr. Westmoreland and I had discussed using his laser to remove the corns on Seka's feet, but I kept putting the procedure off due to our coursing schedule and the potential price tag (anything with the term laser in it has to be expensive, right?). Using a laser allows the vet to take off more of the infected tissue than an old fashioned surgical tool would and hopefully get low enough to completely get rid of the virus so the corn doesn't grow back.
As we hopped into the vet's office on three legs at 10a I kicked myself that I hadn't done something about this stupid corn earlier. But after the vet took a good look at her and made sure it wasn't any other kind of soft tissue injury, Dr. Westmoreland had Seka's toe numbed up, and his trusty laser aimed at the offending corn, blasting away like he was playing Space Invaders. Seka is pictured above, happy and relieved after he was all done. Her corn-less toe below, post-procedure.
As we walked out of the vet's office at 10:45a to pay our bill of a mere $110 (the procedure was only $35, the rest was meds, numbing and exam fee), I almost cried looking at my dog who was standing firmly on all four legs for the first time in at least two years. We go back in two weeks for a recheck to be sure the spot is not growing back as a corn. Fingers crossed that Seka will no longer be a corn dog, at least for a few months.
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