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Corns on Dog Paws… How to diagnose and treat.

Usually when we discuss the topic of “corn” with respect to dogs, we’re usually referred to their diet and how it is difficult for dogs to be able to properly digest and process corn unless it has been refined, however in this case, we’re not talking about the “food” corn, or maize, that we eat.

In this case…

We’re talking about a “corn” (orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, keratomas, or foot pad keratosis) referring to the hard growths that can develop on a dog’s paw. Which can become quite painful for your dog if left untreated particularly if they end up causing and swelling in your pet’s paw or paws.

Location of Corns…

Many times, the severity of the condition will depend on the actual location of “corn” that is causing your dog discomfort.  You see, in some cases, corns can develop on the carpal pad which is the pad that is located the farthest up the leg (almost past what we might consider the wrist or ankle area).

In cases like these…

It may not be immediately obvious that your dog is experiencing any pain or discomfort form their condition.

While in…

Other cases your dog may develop their “corn” on the metacarpal pad which is the largest pad (akin to the palm) or on one of the digital pads (toes), which is the most common place for corns to appear.

In cases like these…

It will usually be easier for you as the owner to notice that your dog does seem to have something “wrong” with his or her paw simply because your dog will most likely be showing much more obvious “signs” associated with the discomfort they are experiencing.

Symptoms and Diagnosis for Corns

The most common symptom of corns with dogs is “lameness”.  Now “lameness” is a term used to describe a condition in which is a dog (or person or any animal for that matter) is unable to use one of its legs.  The cause of which is usually related with injury and pain.

The key with…

Corns is that this “lameness” is usually persistent and see when walking/running on hard surfaces as opposed to when your dog is walking around on something soft like carpet you may have within your home.

What causes dogs to get Corns?

There are three main causes for why a particular dog may develop a corn on his or her paw.  It could be because:

  • An object, i.e. foreign body, has become embedded in the dog’s paw and scar tissue or calluses has developed over the area.
  • A result or symptom of a papilloma virus infection (wart like lesions may be pushed deeper into paw) leading to the development of a corn.
  • Or your dog could have suffered from some type of trauma like a cut or scrape which could have triggered the development of a corn.

Are certain dog breeds more susceptible to developing corns?

Yes, as it turns out, most if not all “corns” seem to be found in either the Greyhound breed or in the “lurcher” family of dogs.  A Lurcher is a crossbreed of a Greyhound or some other sight hound and another breed such as a


Treatment Options for Corns in Dogs

Treatments of corns in a dog almost always involve surgical removal but there are other lesser invasive treatments if the corns are caught early on and they are still “relatively” superficial.

If the corn is…

Considered a “superficial” corn, it is possible that your veterinarian may choose to chemically cauterize (tissue that is dead will need to be shaved every few days) the corn this way they can “avoid” surgery.

In cases like these…

The chemical cauterization is often done using such things as salicylic acid ointment, silver nitrate or ferric chloride. This will need to be done with the dog is sedated or some nerve block should be used to minimize any pain your pet may feel as well.  and, of course, the paw/foot must be bandaged at all times.

Now this is probably…

A good time to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of folks who really care about animals and only want what’s best for them.

This is why…

If you feel that your pet may be suffering from corns, be sure to have him or her checked out by a professional.  After all, one of our favorite saying around here is…

“When in doubt, have a vet check it out!”

The Cost of Treating Corns in Dogs

When a dog develops corns the cost of treatment depends on the approach that is taken.  For surgery, including anesthesia, removal of corn, and after care (bandage placement, etc.) the average cost can run you the owner around $800-$1300 per corn that is removed.

Of course…

This can vary depending on your location and whether you go with a regular veterinarian or a board-certified surgeon for your dog’s surgical treatment.  But regardless of where you live or who actually performs the corn removal procedure, you can see that getting a corn or “corns” removed from your dog can get pretty expensive, pretty fast.

This is why…

We always advise any pet owner who hasn’t already purchase a pet insurance policy to take a moment and see what pet insurance policy might cost for their particular animal.


You never really now if your dog is going to become sick or injured in the future and having a “quality” pet insurance policy in place could make all the difference in the world if you suddenly find yourself in a situation where your pet needs a lot of expensive care!

For more information about who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry, be sure to check out our Best Pet Insurance companies article.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • ruth January 24, 2019, 12:36 am

    Thanks for your post, I was looking for this subject and there is not easy to find information…

    • indulgeyourpet January 24, 2019, 6:23 am

      Sure thing, we’re glad you liked it.



  • Roxanne W. January 19, 2021, 12:40 pm

    Our (English) Bulldog has a corn on the pad of her foot. The corn had been surgically removed and it immediately grew back. Now she has to go to the vet for this corn to be trimmed back. It looks exactly like a toe nail. If she walks on her foot, it’s on her tip toes. This is so sad because of the pain she must be in. We have no clue what to do next. This has been going on for over a year and she’s 6 yr. old.

    • Rebecca T. April 8, 2021, 10:38 am

      Hi Roxanne, we have the exact same problem with our 1.5 year old Wheaten Terrier. If you found any solutions, we would be grateful if you could reach out! Thanks.

  • Angela F May 18, 2021, 3:34 am

    I am at my wits end as my whippet has had what looks exactly like a corn on his toe pad for months now and is very lame.However after x rays and convincing my vet his problem is his foot my vet denies he has a corn as my boy does not mind the circular mark pressed but does object to his pad, which is hard, being squeezed from the side.
    I have asked for a referral to a soft tissue specialist but am still waiting for confirmation.

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