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Victor

Treating Corns With Cimetidine (Tagamet)

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I can't believe I'm writing this, but I think we may have found a cure for our greyhounds' corns! Our 9-year-old female, Joy, has had terrible corns for the past year or so. It got so bad that she was lame on one leg and could barely walk even with pain medication. We tried everything (hulling, duct tape, Gorilla tape, Burt's Bees, O'Keeffe's, azithromycin, ichthammol, lysine, Kerasol), but nothing helped. Then we ran into a pediatrician at a greyhound event, who told us how he treated his greyhound with cimetidine (brand name Tagamet), which has been used in humans to treat viral warts (see, for example, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14693487).He gave his girl 400mg cimetidine every 12 hours for 6 weeks, after which he reduced the dose to 200mg every 12 hours for 4 weeks. He didn't start to see an effect until 5 weeks of treatment, but now she's completely corn free!

We're just past 5 weeks with Joy, and I'm thrilled to report that her corns are much better! In fact, they've all but disappeared on three of her paws, and the worst one is shrinking. We're still hulling it, but each time the size of the hulled corn is smaller. And Joy can walk again without pain medication! We still use booties to protect her paws outside (a combination of Therapaws/Slicks/Neopaws in the summer and Voyagers K9 in the winter), but she can walk and run inside without any booties at all. I can't begin to express how grateful we are!
If you wish to try this treatment, my only caution would be to check with your vet first. He or she may want to do blood tests to make sure your grey's liver and kidney values are okay. You might also want to do followup blood tests partway through treatment to make sure your pup is tolerating it okay. We haven't noticed any ill effects, but every dog is different. Also, since cimetidine is an acid reducer, it could potentially affect digestion and/or absorption of other medicines.
In any case, if you have a greyhound who is suffering from corns, please discuss this with your vet!
Here's the link for generic cimetidine at Walgreens, which is what we're using:

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My dog is on low dose Zantac (another acid-suppressant) for an irritable stomach condition. She also gets corns from time to time but they seem to disappear in mid winter, a factor which makes it her favourite time. I think it is the cold that does it really.

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My dog is on low dose Zantac (another acid-suppressant) for an irritable stomach condition. She also gets corns from time to time but they seem to disappear in mid winter, a factor which makes it her favourite time. I think it is the cold that does it really.

 

I don't think other acid suppressants have the same effect. It seems to be only cimetidine that works for treating viral warts.

 

Joy's corns were really bad last winter, so I don't think it's the temperature that's affecting her corns.

Edited by Victor

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WOW :) Our Larry has HORRIBLE corns, on all 4 feet :( :( nothing has worked either. He actually is on famotidine (10mg 1 x day), another acid reducer, but like mentioned, has not done anything like the cimetidine. I will check with his vet to see if switching him to cimetidine is a possibility! He'll be 10 next month, so I wouldn't want to give him something that could potentially cause other issues, but if the vet says ok we can try it :) thank you for posting!


Kim, Bruce, Larry (PTL LaRoach) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It) - missing my sweet Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011) and Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Chester (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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I just heard from Dr. Jenifer Barker, who initially diagnosed Joy's concerns. She has two cautions that I thought I should share:

  1. "Cimetidine can cause heart arrhythmia's and respiratory distress is some dogs."
  2. "Greyhounds with early renal issues can progress more rapidly with long term use of Cimetidine."

 

Also, I noticed the link to the research article in my post isn't working. Here it is again:

Eur J Dermatol. 2003 Sep-Oct;13(5):445-8.
Cimetidine treatment for viral warts enhances IL-2 and IFN-gamma expression but not IL-18 expression in lesional skin.
Mitsuishi T1, Iida K, Kawana S.
Abstract
Cimetidine has been shown to improve various types of human neoplasms and more recently it has been shown to be effective in treating recalcitrant or multiple viral warts in some reports. However, it is not well understood why cimetidine is effective on those kinds of viral warts. We investigated 55 patients with multiple viral warts treated only with oral cimetidine for up to 4 months to examine the efficacy of treatment. The patients were divided into two groups: group A received oral cimetidine (<20 mg/kg/day) and group B received the drug (30 to 40 mg/kg/day). In addition, using real time PCR, we measured mRNA levels of the cytokines interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-18, and interferon (IFN)-gamma taken from selected punch biopsy specimens before and during treatment. As a result, 34.5% (19/55) of the patients had a dramatic clinical improvement or complete remission (CR) of their viral warts and 23.6% (13/55) of the patients had partial responses (PR) within 4 months of cimetidine therapy. IL-2 and IFN-gamma mRNA levels were significantly increased and IL-18 mRNA levels were decreased in tissues of effectively treated viral warts. Our results show that the higher dose of oral cimetidine was more effective in treating multiple viral warts, that cimetidine activates Th1 cells to produce IL-2 and IFN-c and that their expression correlates with wart remission. These results suggest that cimetidine is an effective treatment for viral warts. In addition, based on the decrease in IL-18 mRNA elicited by the drug, IL-18 might be expressed by keratinocytes infected with HPV.

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WOW :) Our Larry has HORRIBLE corns, on all 4 feet :( :( nothing has worked either. He actually is on famotidine (10mg 1 x day), another acid reducer, but like mentioned, has not done anything like the cimetidine. I will check with his vet to see if switching him to cimetidine is a possibility! He'll be 10 next month, so I wouldn't want to give him something that could potentially cause other issues, but if the vet says ok we can try it :) thank you for posting!

 

You're welcome! I hope it helps him if his vet thinks it's safe to try!

 

It's worth noting that this is a much higher dose of cimetidine than would be used for acid suppression. According to our vet, 5-10mg/kg is the normal dose for dogs for acid reduction. Joy weighs 26.8kg, so the 800mg/day translates to ~30mg/kg. (The dose used for warts in people is 20-40mg/kg.)

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This is interesting. I actually looked into taking Cimetidine when I had a persistent and growing patch of warts on my foot, but at the time the data mostly referred to its use in children and in the end, the high doses that seemed necessary scared me off. Eventually they resolved on their own, I believe due to diet change that would have led to improved immune health.

 

Anyway, it seems like the doses at which you were successful are more in line with what would be prescribed for GI upset anyway. I would certainly be interested in hearing if others are able to try this with their vet's guidance and have success.

 

And I'm glad your pup is getting some relief.


 

You're welcome! I hope it helps him if his vet thinks it's safe to try!

 

It's worth noting that this is a much higher dose of cimetidine than would be used for acid suppression. According to our vet, 5-10mg/kg is the normal dose for dogs for acid reduction. Joy weighs 26.8kg, so the 800mg/day translates to ~30mg/kg. (The dose used for warts in people is 20-40mg/kg.)

Huh, a quick google search turned up 3-5 mg/lb every 6-8 hours, which at the higher end of that range would be 300 mg per dose for a 60 lb female. I remembered the dose being quite high for people so thought it odd that it wasn't here. I'm finding that dosage on several sites, though some specify it for stomach ulcers, not GI upset. :dunno


gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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update: Larry's been on Cimetdine now since 3/1 (400 mg 2 x day) and I can say that all but his biggest (worst and original) one on his front right is GONE. He had them on every paw. We're going to reduce down to 200 mg 2 x day now and see how that goes.

 

I wish the big one would go far, far away but at least when we go for a walk now he only needs the one TheraPaw instead of 3!


Kim, Bruce, Larry (PTL LaRoach) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It) - missing my sweet Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011) and Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Chester (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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I am going to try this with Deucie. Her painful footies are breaking my heart.


Wendy and The Whole Wherd. American by birth, Southern by choice.
So many right-winged Christians...so few lions.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"
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Guest Adrianne

Hi Everyone. I know this thread is old, but I just want to add Chevy's name to the list of greyhounds who are corn free because of the cimetidine treatment. Two years ago, Chevy had a toe amputated; well, it was SUPPOSED to be a toe, but they only amped half of it and stitched the paw pad to the stump. (I wasn't happy, but that's another story for another day.) The stump healed, and for a year all was fine. Then, out of the blue, a giant corn appeared on the pad of the stump, about half the size of the pad. He already had a small but very resilient corn on the toe next to that, and this was just heartbreaking. Nothing worked to give him relief, and the stump was too sensitive to even dremel. I came across the cimetidine treatment, and followed it to the letter. When there was no change in the corn, I counted it as just another failure. His limping got worse, even on soft surfaces.

 

Long story short, it occurred to me one day that there was more going on with that stump than just the corn. We had it amputated--all of it--last Monday. The vet told me after the stump was amputated, he squeezed it, and it snapped. It was frozen in place. By Day 4, Chevy was walking with full weight on that foot. A 100% improvement.

 

Today, I took Chevy to the pet store. His foot was lightly bandaged, but when we were halfway across the parking lot, I realized I had forgotten to put on his TheraPaw boot. Because of the small corn on his second toe, he's never been able to walk on pavement without his boot. But I realized I had forgotten to put on his boot because he was walking with no limp at all. When we got home, I got out my magnifier and carefully & closely examined his second toe. There is no corn. It's completely gone. When the cimetidine didn't make a difference on the huge corn on the stump, I never checked the second toe. I just assumed failure. But it was success! And I hope others can find relief with this treatment. We dealt, he & I, with that corn for almost seven years, never finding anything that gave him any kind of lasting relief. It's amazing!

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I wish I had known about this treatment for Aston. He had one awful recurrent corn on one toe that rendered him with an "idiopathic" limp until a grey-savvy vet finally figured out what was happening, when Aston was nearly eleven years old. :( I'm so glad that this treatment is working for these poor hounds!!

Also, <hijack> HI ADRIANNE :beatheart </hijack>.

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Guest Adrianne

I wish I had known about this treatment for Aston. He had one awful recurrent corn on one toe that rendered him with an "idiopathic" limp until a grey-savvy vet finally figured out what was happening, when Aston was nearly eleven years old. :( I'm so glad that this treatment is working for these poor hounds!!

 

Also, <hijack> HI ADRIANNE :beatheart </hijack>.

<waving> Well, hello. :) <waving>

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HI Adrienne!!! Glad to hear Chevy's doing better :)

 

I unfortunately had to stop the cimetidine for Larry since around 5/2/17 he started to have a bleeding ulcer from the Rimadyl he'd been on since the past October. :( I stopped the cimetidine at that time too since we weren't sure what was causing his issues and just never restarted it. The one corn on his back left foot is back :( (the huge one on this front right never went away but did seem better).

 

I'm not sure if we'll try it again...he was prescribed Meloxicam to replace the Rimadyl (Larry has a lot of pain issues, due to a ruptured ACL back in 2010 before we got him) but we decided to try Gabepentin since Bruce had a Rx for it he never used. It seems to be doing him a lot of good and is a lot easier as far as side effects.

 

Another lady in our group is going to try the cimetidine after hearing us talk about it over Memorial Day, I hope it helps her two hounds!

 

Has anyone found a cheap source for the cimetidine? I could only find it at our Walgreen's, their generic 200mg 60 count bottle (the only size they had) was $13 so it was pretty pricey (since it is only a 15 day supply).


Kim, Bruce, Larry (PTL LaRoach) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It) - missing my sweet Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011) and Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Chester (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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Guest Adrianne

HI Adrienne!!! Glad to hear Chevy's doing better :)

 

I unfortunately had to stop the cimetidine for Larry since around 5/2/17 he started to have a bleeding ulcer from the Rimadyl he'd been on since the past October. :( I stopped the cimetidine at that time too since we weren't sure what was causing his issues and just never restarted it. The one corn on his back left foot is back :( (the huge one on this front right never went away but did seem better).

 

I'm not sure if we'll try it again...he was prescribed Meloxicam to replace the Rimadyl (Larry has a lot of pain issues, due to a ruptured ACL back in 2010 before we got him) but we decided to try Gabepentin since Bruce had a Rx for it he never used. It seems to be doing him a lot of good and is a lot easier as far as side effects.

 

Another lady in our group is going to try the cimetidine after hearing us talk about it over Memorial Day, I hope it helps her two hounds!

 

Has anyone found a cheap source for the cimetidine? I could only find it at our Walgreen's, their generic 200mg 60 count bottle (the only size they had) was $13 so it was pretty pricey (since it is only a 15 day supply).

Oh, I hate that he developed an ulcer, and I hate that you had to stop the cimetidine, and I hate that the back corn reappeared. Dang it all!

 

In answer to your question, yes, I got Chevy's cimetidine at WalMart for $4.98 for a bottle of 60 of the Equate brand. Ordered it online and had it shipped to the store. I used four bottles.

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Costco might also have it for a good price. I can't remember which antacid I buy in bulk from there.

On that note, I would think keeping him on the Cimetidine might be a good idea since it's used for treating stomach ulcers. What did your vet think?


gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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