Written by FOTP Team
If your dog’s walking with a limp, check their leg and paw carefully. They’ll likely flinch when you locate the cause. If it’s an injury to something like a tendon then it will be easy to feel, but if the limp is caused by their paw then it could be a corn – they’re not uncommon in dogs. We’ll look at causes and treatment in our Guide to Corns…
A keratoma appears when there is abnormal tissue growth beneath the surface of a dog’s paw. It is made up of keratin and feels tough, like scar tissue.
You might see a keratoma referred to as a ‘foot tumour’, ‘callus’ or simply a corn. It is typically benign (non-cancerous) and similar to the calluses that people get on their feet.
It can cause discomfort or pain when your dog walks, so the first symptom you’ll notice will probably be a bit of a limp.
Corns can also form around a dog’s nose, particularly in breeds like Labradors, Mastiffs, some Terriers, and Golden Retrievers.
Common in horses and certain breeds like Greyhounds and sight-hounds, corns are often caused by a trauma to the foot. This could be abrasion (due to sprinting) or a foreign body piercing the foot. The scar tissue builds up into a mound which can keep growing.
Some dogs suffer from Hyperkeratosis, which is simply the overproduction of keratin. Keratin is a natural component of skin and hair, but too much of it makes skin thick and hard. Hyperkeratosis can affect dogs’ noses as well as paws and can be managed with regular use of an emollient (topical balm).
Corns can also be caused by a lack of zinc in the dog’s diet, or an underlying auto-immune skin disease. So it’s vital to consult your vet and rule out these problems.
If a keratoma is undiagnosed, it can also crack or become infected, which will be very painful.
Here’s what to look out for:
At the moment, there isn’t much research into treatment for corns, so your vet is best-placed to advise you based on their experience.
If you are keen to avoid surgery and your vet consents, you could try some of the following:
After corn removal, your dog will need special treatment (and plenty of affection, naturally).
Researching your concerns on the internet is a good start. But our articles are written to give you an overview – not medical advice. If you think there’s a corn on your dog’s foot, go directly to your veterinarian. Think there are underlying issues with your dog’s nutrient balance or joint movements? You could try adding a supplement to their diet. That’s where we come in! Soothe is a blend of ingredients proven to support the immune system and skin. Reviewers report that it prevents itchy and sore bits, promoting healthy skin.