In Greyhounds with paw pad corns, is surgical excision more effective at resolving lameness than extirpation?

  • Dan Kenny Paragon Veterinary Referrals



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PICO question

In Greyhounds (and Sighthounds) with recurring pedal corns, is surgical excision in comparison to corn extirpation more effective at resolving lameness?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

Three case series were included, all three were retrospective, one included a prospective component. There was one opinion-based narrative review and one opinion-based article.

Strength of evidence


Outcomes reported

Extirpation allows only a short palliation of lameness and repeated treatment is required at variable intervals. Surgical excision may provide good rates of short-term resolution however, in the long-term recurrence rates are still moderate. It should also be born in mind that further corns may develop in different digits.


In Greyhounds (and Sighthounds) with recurring pedal corns, surgical excision of the corn is more likely to provide long-term resolution of lameness in comparison to extirpation. However, the current level of evidence on this topic is weak.


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision-making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


Open Access Peer Reviewed


Anis, E.A., Frank, L.A., Francisco R. & Kania, S.A. (2016). ‘Identification of canine papillomavirus by PCR in Greyhound dogs’. PeerJ 4:e2744. DOI:

Balara, J.M., McCarthy, R.J., Kiupel, M., Buote, M.A., Wise, A.G. & Maes, R.K. (2009a). ‘Clinical, histologic, and immunohistochemical characterization of wart-like lesions on the paw pads of dogs: 24 cases (2000–2007).’ Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234(12), p. 1555–1558. DOI:

Balara, J.M., McCarthy, R.J. & Buote, M.A. (2009b). ‘Comments on study of paw pad lesions in dogs.’ Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235(6), p. 657–659. DOI:

Görtz, K., Rooster, H., Chiers, K., Kramer, M. & Declerq, J. (2003). ‘Digital hyperkeratosis as a cause of severe lameness in two Whippets and a Greyhound.’ Kleintierpraxis 48 p. 435–439.

Guilliard, M.J., Segboer, I. & Shearer, D.H. (2010). ‘Corns in dogs; signalment, possible aetiology and response to surgical treatment. .’ Journal of Small Animal Practice 51(3), p. 162–168. DOI:

Macherey, C.L. & Feeman, W.E. (2006). ‘Using a dental root elevator to remove footpad corns in dogs: two practitioners’ experience.’ Veterinary Medicine 101 p. 778–781.

Vol. 5 No. 3 (2020): The third issue of 2020

Section: Knowledge Summaries

Categories :  Small Animal  /  Dogs  /  Cats  /  Rabbits  /  Production Animal  /  Cattle  /  Sheep  /  Pig  /  Equine  / 

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