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Corns on Dog Paws… How to diagnose and treat.

Usually, when we discuss the topic of “corn” concerning dogs, we refer to their diet. It is difficult for dogs to digest and process Corn unless it has been appropriately refined; in this case, we’re not talking about the “food” corn or maize we eat. In this case, we’re talking about a “corn” (ortho keratotic 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…

The severity of the condition often depends on the actual location of the “corn,” causing your dog discomfort. You see, in some cases, Corn 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 apparent that your dog is experiencing any pain or discomfort from their condition.

In other cases, your dog may develop their “corn” on the metacarpal pad, which is the giant pad (akin to the palm), or on one of the digital pads (toes), which is the most common place for Corn 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 their paw simply because your dog will most likely be showing much more apparent “signs” associated with the discomfort they are experiencing.

Symptoms and Diagnosis for Corns

The most common symptom of Corn with dogs is “lameness.” “Lameness” is a term used to describe a condition in which a dog (or person or any animal) cannot use one of its legs. The cause of which is usually related to injury and pain. The key with Corns is that this “lameness” is typically persistent and seen 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 Corn?

There are three leading causes for why a particular dog may develop Corn on their paw. It could be because:

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

Are specific dog breeds more susceptible to developing corns?

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


Treatment Options

Treatments of Corn in a dog almost always involve surgical removal. However, other lesser invasive treatments exist if the Corn is caught early on and is still “relatively” superficial. If the Corn is considered “superficial” Corn, 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…

Chemical cauterization is often done using salicylic acid ointment, silver nitrate, or ferric chloride. This must be done when the dog is sedated, or some nerve block should be used to minimize any pain your pet may feel. And, of course, the paw/foot must be bandaged at all times.

Now, this is probably…

This is an excellent time to remind folks that we at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals. All we are is a bunch of folks caring about animals and only want what’s best for them.

If you feel your pet may suffer from corns, have them checked out by a professional. After all, one of our favorite sayings around here is…

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

Treatment Costs

Treatment costs depend on the approach taken when a dog develops corns. For surgery, including anesthesia, removal of maize, and aftercare (bandage placement, etc.), the average price can run you, the owner, around $800-$1300 per removed Corn. 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 performs the corn removal procedure, you can see that getting Corn or “corn” removed from your dog can get pretty expensive.

This is why…

We always advise any pet owner who hasn’t already purchased a pet insurance policy to take a moment and see what a pet insurance policy might cost for their particular animal. Because you never really know 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, check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • ruth June 24, 2020, 12:36 am

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

    • indulgeyourpet May 24, 2020, 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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