Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Return of the Corn Dog

Several years ago I attended a seminar at a greyhound gathering where Dr. Couto (aka greyhound cancer Yoda) talked about a variety of illnesses and injuries that plague our breed. He had a course of treatment for everything he talked about except the only one I cared about at the time - corns. Evidently, little rock formations on the bottom greyhound feet continue to baffle modern veterinary medicine. 

We've tried everything to keep Seka comfortable when it comes to her feet. What started as a corn on one back foot, quickly became one on each back foot. Now we have a total of four corns, one for each foot because we can't leave any appendage out.

The corns on her back two feet caused her a lot of trouble. She didn't want to walk when those cropped up. We used Therapaws when we went on walks or were out and about, but she never liked wearing them. I fully believe that she knew people and other dogs were staring - and they were.

We did the whole duct tape thing, wart remover, the cold sore remover, vitamins, the natural cream with the baggies treatment - you name it we tried it. We ended up turning to laser surgery on both of those back pads to cut the corn out as deep as possible. While the recovery was not fun and it took FOREVER, it did improve her mobility and now the corns are very shallow and I can just pick the hard area right off the top of the toe. It's more like a scab or scar tissue than a deep corn.

For her front feet, I regularly use the same method Genji's Corner uses with their corn dogs to remove the corn as deep as possible from her paw pads. This seems to make her more comfortable, well at least I thought it did.

On her front feet, the corns are so big around and so deep it is almost like removing the entire pad from that toe. She is left with a giant crevasse on the bottom of both of her front feet. Seka HATES it when I remove those corns from her front feet. I mean, shows her teeth and gives me little growls (which are kinda cute but I know she means business). I guess I'd hate it too if someone was digging at me with an icepick. But I figured walking without rocks in your feet must be more comfortable than walking with rocks in your feet.
This picture does not do this corn justice. 

This summer I was lazy when it came to her corns. I absolutely let her pads go. One day I realized that she was walking better than I had seen her in a long time. She is still a bit gimpy on that back hip, but she was solid on her front feet and putting good weight on all four limbs - which is huge for any corn dog. I looked at her feet and the size and shape of the corns on the front of her feet were truly shocking. There are little mountains growing off the bottoms of her feet and one even protrudes out a bit from the bottom of the foot pad when she is standing.

I'm sure what I'm about to say qualifies me for greyhound jail, but despite the size of these boulders on her toes, I didn't do anything to her front feet. I just left the corns alone. I figure if she starts limping, I'll grab the trusty root elevator and remove them. But for now, she seems just fine on those front feet, even on hard surfaces! I am curious to see how big these might get or if they will just fall off at some point. There's no doubt in my mind, Seka would win a biggest corn contest. 

I guess the best medicine might be to leave them alone. Maybe that's what Dr. Couto was saying after all. But next time you see us, ask to see her corns. You'll be shocked for sure. 

P.S. If you're like me (let's hope you're not) and you like to get all of your news through Facebook, I started a special Greytblackdog Facebook page. While you'll find the latest blog posts linked there, I try to add spice up the content throughout the week with tidbits from my girls. Take a minute and use the link on the right of this page to like GBD on Facebook and we'll show up in your news feed. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Table Manners

My mother and grandmother were sticklers on table manners. I even had to go to a White Gloves and Manners class when I was in the 4th grade. No lie, this is what it was called. I learned, among other things: how to properly sip soup from a spoon, how to cut my meat and butter my bread without offending others and how to set a table for a formal dinner party with all sorts of plates and silverware. Little did I know that when you grow up, the only women who throw dinner parties with that much flatware and china have a net worth of $1 million. What I wish I had learned is how to throw a dinner party for 10 and spend under $50.

During the week, I cook no more than three times a week and I try to serve at least one meal at the dining room table. The rest of the time we eat at the island bar in the kitchen. The dining room table is actually in the kitchen, so I'm not sure why we just don't move over five feet and sit in a real chair instead of a stool, but we don't.

Oh, wait a minute. Yes, I do know why we don't. My mangerie has the worst table manners in the world. I know it is my fault that they are always underfoot while we are eating at the table or, in the case of the cats, on top of the table. I can't complain about what I allow, so I've decided to start putting up the baby gate to keep the savages away from the gourmet meals I prepare. Maybe they will get the picture or at least make a better attempt at not being so annoying while we enjoy our food.

I'm not sure if they will pass my greyhound White Paws and Manners Class, but maybe they can learn to keep their elbows off the table.