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Corns On All Four Feet Have Crippled Mable

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Guest Frannie

just back from the vet. I asked about hulling, and she told me that basically I was describing surgery--the same one they've always done on Mable's feet (general anesthesia, cutting, getting out the whole root, stitching, bandaging and re-bandaging, weeks of antibiotics). I tried to explain to her that it wasn't the same, but she wasn't hearing that. So obviously, it's not something they do since they know nothing about it. (don't get me started.)

 

I did ask about lidocaine products, and I have a prescription for some gel. this doctor seemed very frustrated with me for showing up again with the same problem. she said corns don't get infected. (like I said, don't get me started.)

 

I didn't know that duct tapes varied so much between generic and name brands--maybe I had bad luck with them because I was using generic, so I'll try the higher priced ones. I'll also try Abreva. one of my neighbors has given me a strip of her Moleskin to try, kind of the same way I'll be using the duct tape. has anyone had luck with this?

 

I also thought about contacting the Thera-paw folks--I'm probably their biggest customer--and asking them about coming out with a summer weight shoe in a lighter color. The heavy black ones in the summer are terribly hot.

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Bah, vets.

 

I asked Aston's vet about what I thought to be a corn back when I first saw the circular outline on his toepad, but the vet blew me off and said that whatever it was COULDN'T be contributing to his limp, because clearly he has a (foggily-diagnosed) previous-mystery-cartilage-tear. However, when I took Aston back because of wrist swelling some months later (different leg) and pointed out that I had hulled the corn and it seemed to help, the vet responded with Oh yes, it's good to hull those, they are very painful for the dog. :rolleyes:

 

I still go to him because he does seem to know what he's doing for the most part, but I also do my own research on the side.

 

I also haven't tried duct tape. I just bought a bunch, maybe I'll try it..

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just back from the vet. I asked about hulling, and she told me that basically I was describing surgery--the same one they've always done on Mable's feet (general anesthesia, cutting, getting out the whole root, stitching, bandaging and re-bandaging, weeks of antibiotics). I tried to explain to her that it wasn't the same, but she wasn't hearing that. So obviously, it's not something they do since they know nothing about it. (don't get me started.)

 

I did ask about lidocaine products, and I have a prescription for some gel. this doctor seemed very frustrated with me for showing up again with the same problem. she said corns don't get infected. (like I said, don't get me started.)

 

I didn't know that duct tapes varied so much between generic and name brands--maybe I had bad luck with them because I was using generic, so I'll try the higher priced ones. I'll also try Abreva. one of my neighbors has given me a strip of her Moleskin to try, kind of the same way I'll be using the duct tape. has anyone had luck with this?

 

I also thought about contacting the Thera-paw folks--I'm probably their biggest customer--and asking them about coming out with a summer weight shoe in a lighter color. The heavy black ones in the summer are terribly hot.

That's too bad about your experience with your vet. Hulling corns is definitely something that *some* vets are familiar with while others are not. Given how bad your dog's corns are, it might be worth seeking out a vet who is familiar with corns and hulling. Some others have mentioned the bee propolis stuff and that's something also worth trying. But it's one of those things that works for some people, and nobody is really sure why. Corn treatment is a bit like black magic, unfortunately.


Lima Bean (formerly Cold B Hi Fi) and her enabler, Rally. ☜We're moving West!

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just back from the vet. I asked about hulling, and she told me that basically I was describing surgery--the same one they've always done on Mable's feet (general anesthesia, cutting, getting out the whole root, stitching, bandaging and re-bandaging, weeks of antibiotics). I tried to explain to her that it wasn't the same, but she wasn't hearing that. So obviously, it's not something they do since they know nothing about it. (don't get me started.)

 

I did ask about lidocaine products, and I have a prescription for some gel. this doctor seemed very frustrated with me for showing up again with the same problem. she said corns don't get infected. (like I said, don't get me started.)

 

I didn't know that duct tapes varied so much between generic and name brands--maybe I had bad luck with them because I was using generic, so I'll try the higher priced ones. I'll also try Abreva. one of my neighbors has given me a strip of her Moleskin to try, kind of the same way I'll be using the duct tape. has anyone had luck with this?

 

I also thought about contacting the Thera-paw folks--I'm probably their biggest customer--and asking them about coming out with a summer weight shoe in a lighter color. The heavy black ones in the summer are terribly hot.

 

:angryfire Your vet :angryfire

 

I think you know without me having to say it, but you need another vet. I hope there are more in the area for you to choose from. I so feel for your girl. I know how painful it was for my Nadir with just the one corn on a weight bearing toe. I can't even imagine how painful it is to have all four feet affected. I find it hard to believe that your vet would be so uncaring :angryfire as to get upset at you bringing her back in hopes of helping her.

I would try the propolis along with the duct tape. Like it was said, it sounds crazy, but people have had success with it.

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My vet had never heard of hulling. I told her about Dr. F and she googled it. She became quite a pro at it.


Mary in Houston

Everyone has a photographic memory, but not everyone has film.

LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE

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There's a journal artical on corn hulling in one of the more popular vet journals, so it does seem that your vet isn't keeping up. Sounds like it's time to start trying to find a vet that has experience hulling. The tooth elevators that are used can be found on Ebay, that's where I got mine, and they are really just like rounded flat head screw drivers - they do make it easier to get around the corn. It's really not that hard to do yourself, but barring that, any vet could do it.

 

I'd be happy to email a copy of the journal artical to you, just PM me your email address.


CAMP GREYHOUND

Tempo (Keep the Tempo), Nora (Road Noise) & Gabe the babe (Gable Habenero), Cooper (Uncle Bud's Coop), Topper (Red Top), & Galgos Lisette & Manolito. Missing our beloved angels Cody (Kiowa My Dodie), Lou (Cantankerous Lou), Romi (FingerRoll), Connie (Devie's Concord), Millie (Djays Overhaul), Bailey (Hallo Forty nine), Andy (Iza Handy Boy, and Rocco (Ripley Rocco), Gracie (VS Megan), Eragon the Longdog, Joey (WJS Flashfire), Roy (Folly and Glory)

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Take your vet -- or a new vet -- a copy of the journal article. Or print out the info from the website I linked up above. That's what I did with my vet (printed out the website pages). He read it carefully, was elated when it worked "just like they said!", and really tickled when he saw it several months later in the journal.

 

 

ETA: There is absolutely no reason not to try it this week. Monday, for example. Having a corn is like walking around with a pebble stuck to the bottom of your foot.

Edited by Batmom

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest dancewkathylee

Neo Paws makes a Summer bootie that is sturdy and padded like the thera paw but lighter weight I think I'm going to try them. Good luck. Sorry your vet isn't more greyhound savvy. I had the same problem. Now I travel to go to one with much experience with our "special" breed!

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About the hulling...my vet had never done it before but he had heard of it. This is how he approached it. He had me soak MoMo's corn foot in an solution of epsom salts & water daily for several days (5) to soften her pad and the corn. I also put Bag Balm on it the pad to keep it moist between the soaks. Then Mo and I went in to the office and soaked that foot in an antiseptic & water solution for a few minutes. Then the vet sat down on the floor with me and we started the hulling procedure.

 

The soaking had helped give us a clear visual demarcation between corn tissue and paw pad tissue. We had MoMo lie down on a towel on the floor. There was no anesthesia and she was only a tiny bit uncomfortable once during the procedure. He took a dental tool called an elevator (I think) and gently eased the corn tissue away from the healthy pad tissue, going around and around the corn, and going bit deeper each time around, just easing the corn away from the pad. After a quite a bit of this gentle seperation he was able to pull the corn out. There was a very little bit of blood and there probably shouldn't have been any but he and I were learning. :blush If the hulling had worked for MoMo we were thinking that they'd order the dental tools for me (the elevators come in different sizes) and I'd do the hulling at home. Having watched it, I think I could have done it myself so it is really not a surgical technique at all, and is not something you should hesitate to try.

 

Unfortunately, for MoMo the hulling didn't get us even a day free of limping from the corn and the limping it causes. :( However, clearly it is a technique that works for lots of dogs and the sheer number of corns your poor girl has makes this an appealing approach to at least try. The Abreva sounds like a good possibility to pair with the hulling.

 

As for your vet...she was annoyed that you came back yet again for help with painful corns? :blink::angryfire My vet would have been so sorry we were having to come back for painful corns and would have been looking for a new approach to treating them. It might be time to consider looking for a new vet. No one knows everything but having a vet who is willing to research and consult with others and to willingly follow up on information you bring in is vital, IMO, when trying to manage serious health issues. A vet who is not compassionate and who is not willing to look beyond what he/she already knows is worse than useless.

 

--Lucy


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Lucy with MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, and Miles the slinky kitty (OSH).
Missing Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin) and Winston

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Take your vet -- or a new vet -- a copy of the journal article. Or print out the info from the website I linked up above. That's what I did with my vet (printed out the website pages). He read it carefully, was elated when it worked "just like they said!", and really tickled when he saw it several months later in the journal.

 

 

ETA: There is absolutely no reason not to try it this week. Monday, for example. Having a corn is like walking around with a pebble stuck to the bottom of your foot.

 

Exactly my experience - I told my vet about it - he was skeptical but decided to try it and kept the Grassmere article up on the screen for reference. I held Rickie, it went exactly as described and he was very excited about it at the end. A couple of other vets at the same practice have also done it since then - it isn't difficult at all and is most definitely not surgery. That it isn't is, in fact, the whole point and benefit.

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Guest Frannie

Thanks everybody. Today I have hope. I'm staying home to do corn research, take care of my girl, and just be present to how serious her pain is. I have another vet who makes house calls--he's very expensive, so I can't afford him for most things--and he is a Godsend. We had a long talk this morning, and he is coming on Friday, April 1 to mildly sedate Mable right in my living room and file all six corns down so that they're flat. I also got a lovely e-mail back from the woman who owns Thera-paw. She said that they're not currently planning to make a summer shoe, but if I send her one of the old ones that I have lying around (I've got lots of those!), they can play with making the top part a lighter fabric for hot weather. I am absolutely delighted. And my landlady, who is a total mensch and came upstairs to give me & Mable a hug yesterday afternoon, has given me permission to use the backyard since Mable's feet can't take sidewalks. It's good to know that there are people with hearts in world. My experience at the vet yesterday really dealt me a blow. I just came home and cried, and blamed myself for being such a neurotic dog lady that I'm at the vet every two weeks. (What the doctor who's coming to the house says about that is that when a pet is in distress, so is the owner, and even if you can't cure a problem, your job as a medical professional is to do everything you can to address it both for the animal and human.)

 

Batmom -what's the name of the journal/website? I want to make it my reading material for the afternoon.

 

Lucy - THANK YOU for being so compassionate and thorough in talking to me about this.

 

Who ever imagined that a little thing like corns on a dog's paw would turn your world upside down? It's really good to acknowledge that that's exactly what's happened here, and now that I'm doing that I could start making things little bit right, one sore step at a time. Meanwhile, Mable's downstairs resting comfortably on her morning dose of tramadol.

 

Anyone in the Boston area: the name of the housecall vet is Jake Tedaldi. He is kind of a saint.

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Guest Frannie

Thanks Rickiesmom -

 

Yes, I've seen this before. I've bookmarked it. Jake knows about hulling and I'm not done talking about it with him. there's time between now and April 1 to have more discussions with him. But I think the reason he is going with filing right now is that she has so many corns.

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Filing really doesn't help much. It takes part of the pebble out but the rest is still there. As long as he's coming, it would make best sense to hull them.


Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Same experience here that our vet had not heard of hulling but read the article I gave her and successfully hulled Clay's corn next visit.


Cosmo (Fuzz Face Cosmos), Holmes (He's a Dream), Boomer (USS Baby Boomer), Ella and missing our angels Clay (Red Clay), Train (Nite Train), Trip (Bock's Teddy Bear),Larry (Bohemian Frigid) and Jimmy (Bohemian Raw)

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Guest Houndstown

We also use our dremmel on corns. We bought it for their nails, but it actually works well on corns too. The dremmel allows you to slowly shave off some of the corn a little at a time. Eventually it wears the corn down so that you can just pop it out of the foot. We've used it on dogs we sit for too and their people are very greytful. They've even gone out a bought a dremmel of their own if they didn't have one already.

 

Hope this helps for the future!

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I'm so glad that you've got a caring compassionate vet as an alternative. Kudos to your lovely landlady as well. I'm sure that having access to the backyard will give Mable some relief.

 

If the vet is uncomfortable with the thought of hulling all the corns, perhaps he could try hulling some and filing the rest?

 

 

Sending you and Mable all the best thoughts and prayers that relief is on its way. Good luck with your research on corns.

 

--Lucy


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Lucy with MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, and Miles the slinky kitty (OSH).
Missing Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin) and Winston

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I'm a little late to the party but here is what I have learned. Logan was also stricken with many corns at a time. Fortunately, he was the most gentle greyhound ever and allowed me to work on his corns. Over the years, I have tried everything from witchhazel to Kerasolv to Bag Balm to Avreva. Nothing and I mean nothing will make them go away. The only option that seemed to ease his pain was hulling. I hulled them with my fingernails and soaked them with a warm washcloth to soften them first. This was not always easy but Logan knew that when I was done, he would feel better. If the corn was too sensitive for me to hull, then I would dremel it down until it was flush with his pad. This isn't ideal but it was better than a huge protrusion on his pad. There was never a time that Logan did not have a bothersome corn. However, with persistence the corns did seem to come back smaller over time. Good Luck!


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Guest Frannie

Thanks! it looks like I need to put in another call to Jake and ask about hulling. Win4profit, it's really good to know that Mable has a companion in her misery. Poor Logan!!!

 

I'm also going to purchase a dremel.

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Since Jack had his corns removed the first time, back in June of 2010, I have worked at them diligently. Like win4profit, I have noticed that although Jack still has them, they DO seem to be smaller now. He's had them hulled at the vet several times, but gets very stressed at the vet...so I have started working at them myself. The vet showed me how to do the hulling, and my dentist's office gave me a tool (not sure if it's the 'root elevator', but it seems to help).

 

The rimadyl seems to help, too. Jack does tend to stay off of the hardwood floors in the kitchen, and fortunately he doesn't really 'need' to go in there, since his food table is in the living room which is carpeted.


Phoebe (Belle's Sweetpea) adopted 9/2/13.

Jack (BTR Captain Jack) 9/28/05--11/2/12
Always missing Buddy, Ruby, and Rascal.

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Here's a summary to the list of ideas--

 

Any cream, ointment, lotion will soften the pad and the corn and make it easier to hull. Not sure if there is a magic pharmaceutical ingredient that makes one product better than the other.

 

Emla will serve this function as well as act as a numbing agent, so it will hurt less when hulling--if it works on paw pads. I would try Emla, but since paw pad are very dense, the Emla may not penetrate. However, if it doesn't work initially, I would definitely apply it after a corn is removed. The live, fresh tissue under a corn should almost certainly absorb the numbing agent.

 

Any tape, etc with adhesive will "occlude" the corn--that is, close it off, seal it. This will also retain moisture. Baggies over cream/ointment will serve that same purpose--just secure the Baggie with vet wrap. Additionally, when removed, tape/adhesive will remove a layer of dead tissue, so is a very minor kind of hulling/dremeling kind of action.

 

Hulling is much less invasive than surgery if I understand both procedures correctly. And you can do it nearly for free. I would soak, use cream, ointment, occlude, then pick at the edge of the corn with a finger nail or a dental instrument you can get in any drug store. Orangewood sticks or metal pointy nail files will also work. I would also work with fresh tape to see if application and removal of fresh tape will aid removal. A dremel tool will also help to reduce the bulk of the corn and get you down to newer, fresher cells.

 

Ideally, your goal is to remove a little cone-shaped mass. The pointy bit is the root of the corn. It's unlikely that you'll ever get all of it, but since surgery doesn't either, what have you got to lose.

 

In thinking about the above, it occurred to me that you could try the Dr. Scholl's product that has adhesive on one side and mole skin or flannel or whatever it is on the other. It would act as a tiny little cushion to the pad while still functioning like duct tape.

 

When Daisy had a corn, which I successfully removed once, it took several iterations of the above over a couple of days before the corn came out. In the end we amputated the toe because it had severe arthritis from having been dislocated. The misalignment of the toe is probably what caused the corn in her case, but it also caused gait issues and neck pain, so the toe had to go. (Since it was only one toe, that was a possibility, unlike your circumstances.)

 

There are probably people in your area who know how to do this. I'd ask around greyhound peeps to see if someone knows someone who can walk you through it.

 

Good Luck,

Donna


Donna
Molly the Border Collie & Poquita the American-born Podenga

Bridge Babies: Daisy (Positive Delta) 8/7/2000 - 4/6/2115, Agnes--angel Sage's baby (Regall Rosario) 11/12/01 - 12/18/13, Lucky the mix (Found, w 10 puppies 8/96-Bridge 7/28/11, app. age 16) & CoCo (Cosmo Comet) 12/28/89-5/4/04

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Guest Frannie

Hi Donna (and everyone),

 

So here's a few questions.

 

Emla/numbing cream:

I use lidocaine patches myself for chronic pain. The prescription says not to use them on inflamed or broken skin. Wouldn't the same risk apply for dogs' pads?

 

Duct tape/Dr. Scholl's:

I tried duct tape last night; I also tried Dr. Scholl's corn pads (just the pads, not the medicated discs.) Both fell right off of her foot. With the tape, the problem seems to be that the corns are so raised up and so big that there is very little healthy tissue to grab onto--in other words, you would have to smother the healthy tissue as well as the corn. With the Dr. Scholl's, the adhesive was completely useless. I kept thinking that there was another layer where the real adhesive was, and I just wasn't figuring out how to get at it.)

 

Abreva:

Would it be safe to use this before a filing or hulling? does it eat the skin away?

 

Hulling myself/hulling by Jake:

I think I'm probably not the one to take a sharpish instrument, even a fingernail, to my girl's feet until I've had lots and lots of hands-on instruction and supervision. I'm ultra-squeamish about anything that hurts, and my hands tend to shake when I'm doing close work. I do want to watch what Jake does, though. if we go for hulling, and it definitely sounds like I need to discuss this with Jake (I know he's familiar with it from previous visits to my house to look at her feet), should I try to soften her feet in preparation?

 

The corns come back with either procedure, right? Do they come back sooner with filing than they do with hulling?

 

SOO MANY QUESTIONS for my poor hurting girl!!!

 

Tough day. When I took her out at midday, she cried out when she put weight on her right front foot. that just does me in.

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It pretty much boils down to this: have them hulled either all at once, or in combination with dremeling as has been suggested. With your girl in so much pain, it's probably time to let go of the research and take action.

 

Please let us know how it goes.

 

 

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Filing doesn't remove the corn and often doesn't provide any relief at all, unless you have a small enough dremel tip to dremel down into the pad. In that case, it's much safer and much more effective to hull the corn. Really. Have your vet read the article and try one.

 

Hulling doesn't always provide complete relief, but it often does.

 

The corns will always come back when filed, and very quickly -- they aren't gone. Imagine you have a pebble half imbedded in your foot. Filing removes the half of the pebble sticking out. It doesn't remove the half that's stuck in your foot. Contrast hulling, which is plucking the entire pebble out of your foot.

 

Corns often but not always come back when hulled. Usually, until the corn comes back, the dog has complete relief.

 

 

It can help to Bag Balm or otherwise soften the pad a little the day before -- sometimes helps separate the edges of the corn from the rest of the pad.


Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Lucy, your vet sounds greyt - there's no reason why any vet could not try to hull with this procedure. The elevators really are worth getting, as they seem to be a lot more effecient than anything else I've tried to separate the corn from the surrounding skin.

 

Karen

 

About the hulling...my vet had never done it before but he had heard of it. This is how he approached it. He had me soak MoMo's corn foot in an solution of epsom salts & water daily for several days (5) to soften her pad and the corn. I also put Bag Balm on it the pad to keep it moist between the soaks. Then Mo and I went in to the office and soaked that foot in an antiseptic & water solution for a few minutes. Then the vet sat down on the floor with me and we started the hulling procedure.

 

The soaking had helped give us a clear visual demarcation between corn tissue and paw pad tissue. We had MoMo lie down on a towel on the floor. There was no anesthesia and she was only a tiny bit uncomfortable once during the procedure. He took a dental tool called an elevator (I think) and gently eased the corn tissue away from the healthy pad tissue, going around and around the corn, and going bit deeper each time around, just easing the corn away from the pad. After a quite a bit of this gentle seperation he was able to pull the corn out. There was a very little bit of blood and there probably shouldn't have been any but he and I were learning. :blush If the hulling had worked for MoMo we were thinking that they'd order the dental tools for me (the elevators come in different sizes) and I'd do the hulling at home. Having watched it, I think I could have done it myself so it is really not a surgical technique at all, and is not something you should hesitate to try.

 

Unfortunately, for MoMo the hulling didn't get us even a day free of limping from the corn and the limping it causes. :( However, clearly it is a technique that works for lots of dogs and the sheer number of corns your poor girl has makes this an appealing approach to at least try. The Abreva sounds like a good possibility to pair with the hulling.

 

As for your vet...she was annoyed that you came back yet again for help with painful corns? :blink::angryfire My vet would have been so sorry we were having to come back for painful corns and would have been looking for a new approach to treating them. It might be time to consider looking for a new vet. No one knows everything but having a vet who is willing to research and consult with others and to willingly follow up on information you bring in is vital, IMO, when trying to manage serious health issues. A vet who is not compassionate and who is not willing to look beyond what he/she already knows is worse than useless.

 

--Lucy


CAMP GREYHOUND

Tempo (Keep the Tempo), Nora (Road Noise) & Gabe the babe (Gable Habenero), Cooper (Uncle Bud's Coop), Topper (Red Top), & Galgos Lisette & Manolito. Missing our beloved angels Cody (Kiowa My Dodie), Lou (Cantankerous Lou), Romi (FingerRoll), Connie (Devie's Concord), Millie (Djays Overhaul), Bailey (Hallo Forty nine), Andy (Iza Handy Boy, and Rocco (Ripley Rocco), Gracie (VS Megan), Eragon the Longdog, Joey (WJS Flashfire), Roy (Folly and Glory)

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