Dog foot corns (keratomas and hyperkeratosis) are the hardening and the thickening of the dog’s skin around the paws or nose which can result in painful calluses as well as severe cracking, which exposes the affected area to severe infection.
What are the signs and symptoms of dog foot corns?
Whether it is on the nose or paws, there are various symptoms and signs that are associated with dog foot corns. These are:
- Thickening and hardening of the skin around the paws or nose
- Splitting or cracking of skin around paws or nose
- Excessive dryness and irritation around the paws or nose
- Calloused paws or nose
- Progressive crusted or raised mounds
- Accumulated scar tissue
- Unable to walk in an otherwise normal straight line
- Lameness and possible limping
- Infection of the nails, paws, or nose
- Swelling and pain
What might be the causes of dog foot corns?
There are various possible causes of dog foot corns. These include the following:
- Zinc deficiency
- Canine distemper virus, eventually affecting the skin’s cells
- Autoimmune skin disease
- Parasite associated with sand flies
Diagnosis of Dog Foot Corms
Your vet will check your dog’s medical history. If your dog is a one-year-old Irish terrier, Bedlington terrier, golden retriever, or Labrador, the vet may relate the signs and symptoms to genetics. Your vet may be interested in your dog’s diet, whether he or she has a zinc deficiency. Previously administered medication and the living conditions will also be asked and considered by your vet, therefore, you must provide as much information as you can in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.
Your vet may also be extra keen in observing your dog’s paws and/or nose to see if the areas were trimmed or not and determine if there is any indication of swelling, pain, or hardness. A biopsy may be conducted to rule out autoimmune skin disease.
How are dog foot corns treated?
There are various types of treatments for dog foot corns; however, these are dependent on the type of corn as well as its growth, and what your vet may suggest and prefer. Some of the most commonly used treatment methods are the following.
- Often, the first course of treatment that is considered is hulling the corn. With a blunt hooked tool, the vet will use it to pry the corn out of its bed, freeing it from the pad. Once the corn is removed, a small hole will be left. This will ease your dog’s pain and discomfort. Since corns have the tendency to appear again, they must be treated with an antiviral medication.
- Sometimes, treating dog foot corns works similar to that of human treatments in which the area around the corn is softened in order to pluck the corn with the use of tweezers.
- Another method for treating dog foot corns would be to file the corn down to reduce its protrusion and the outward pressure on the dog’s pad. This may not be a permanent solution to dog foot corns but this can provide a short-term relief from pain and discomfort.
- Surgery is also used for the removal of corns; however, this is only recommended as a last option since the time of recovery after the surgery may be protracted. More often than not, less invasive ways of treating dog foot corns are more effective.
- Another option for dog foot corns is the amputation of the offending toe as persistent reoccurring of dog foot corns may impact the dog’s overall well-being and happiness.
When looking for a treatment, tell the vet all your concerns whilst your dog undergoes exams, and make sure that the vet fully understands the condition. It is advisable to consult vets who specialised in treating corns.
Recovery of Dog Foot Corns
The entire recovery process is dependent on the regularity of the treatment as well as how it has been administered and managed.
- A follow-up visit to the vet may be necessary for two weeks after the treatment.
- Use a topical solution that contains a combination of vitamin E, shea butter, and essential oil, or one that contains sweet almond oil.
- Keep him out of areas that have sand flies.
- You have to pay close attention to your dog’s behaviour, whether he is acting like how he normally would or not.
Since dog foot corn is a reoccurring condition, check your dog’s paws and nose regularly.
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Know more about preventive measures to different dog health concerns here.
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