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. 


KF-in-Georgia said...

I now have a corn dog, too. Silver has just one fairly large one on her front foot. I'm allowed to put duct tape on it. Otherwise, I'm not supposed to touch it. And I'm supposed to be careful when I touch that foot at all (esp. to do toenails). Silver limps a bit when the corn bothers her, but she's not ready to tolerate intervention at this point.

houndstooth said...

Ever since that post on Genji's Corner, I've been trying to figure out if Bunny has corns or not. If they are, they don't seem to be bothering her too much and I've been leaving them alone, too!

gyeong said...

If she's not looking uncomfortable, I would leave them alone too. Some people have had luck Dremeling the corns, but we've never tried. Stanley clops around like a dressage horse with his Therapaws, but it definitely makes a difference on hard surfaces.

terriknits said...

I will (faux)Dremel the surface of the corns for a while before I consider digging them out. Ava and Apollo are both in this (faux)Dremel state since the last time I removed the corns and seem to be okay with it.

Trina said...

That is what Henry's corns looked like. I would core them out occasionally, but he seemed to be fine with them as long as I didn't make him stand on hard surfaces for too long.

James said...

Hi – Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Greyhounds Community? Our members will love it.
Members include: Greyhound Owners, Breeders, Clubs, Rescues and Lovers
It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website…. You can also add Photos, Videos and Pup Classifieds if you like. It’s free and easy.
Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
The Greyhound Community:
James Kaufman, Editor

Greyhounds Aren't Grey said...

My mother's hound Fox also has corns on all four feet. When he stayed with us recently, we tried the dremel which Blue and Bettina's Auntie Carol suggested to us. It did not bother Fox at all to have the corn dremeled. He seems to be walking well. We're waiting to see what happens longterm as Auntie Carol told us that once she dremeled the corns, they disappeared on her hound. We're crossing our fingers.