What is Corns (Keratomas and Hyperkeratosis)?
If your dog shows signs of limping, don’t assume right away that it may be a pulled muscle. On the other hand, if your dog has an irritated nose, never think that this is an allergy. However, don’t become alarmed too quickly. It is important to keep a calm disposition so you can examine the affected area. If the paws show signs of cracking, you could consider applying a topical cream to relieve some of the discomfort. It is still important to call your veterinarian to make an appointment because the condition won’t just go away. The condition may worsen to an infection as the keratin continues to build up on the skin. A veterinarian visit is, therefore, essential.
Corns in dogs (keratomas and hyperkeratosis) are a thickening and hardening of a dog’s skin around the paws or nose, resulting in painful calluses and cracking with possibility of severe infection. Seek immediate care from a veterinarian for a quick diagnosis.
Book First Walk Free!
Symptoms of Corns (Keratomas and Hyperkeratosis) in Dogs
There are various symptoms associated with corns in dogs, whether it is on the paws or on the nose. These symptoms include:
- Accumulated scar tissue
- Lameness and possible limping
- Unable to walk in an otherwise normal straight line
- Calloused paws or nose
- Thickening and hardening of the skin around the nose or paws
- Swelling and pain
- Progressive crusted or raised mounds
- Splitting or cracking of skin around paws or nose
- Excessive dryness and irritation around the paws or nose
- Infection of the nails, paws or nose
Causes of Corns (Keratomas and Hyperkeratosis) in Dogs
There are several possible causes for keratomas and hyperkeratosis. When properly diagnosed, it can greatly improve the health of your dog:
- Canine Distemper virus, eventually affecting the skin’s cells
- Parasite associated with sand flies
- An autoimmune skin disease
- From a zinc deficiency because the dog many not be able to properly absorb zinc
Diagnosis of Corns (Keratomas and Hyperkeratosis) in Dogs
To get a definitive diagnosis of the problem, you should see a veterinarian to find out why your canine is experiencing these symptoms. Of course, the veterinarian will take a look at the medical history of your pet. If your dog is a year old and is a Labrador, Golden Retriever, Bedlington terrier or Irish terrier, the veterinarian may associate the symptoms with genetics. She may ask about the type of medications, if any, previously administered and whether you live in an area where there are sand flies.
You should provide as much information as possible to the veterinarian so that a proper diagnosis can be made. Your veterinarian may be interested in your pet’s diet to figure out if this is a zinc deficiency. Keen observation will be made of the dog’s paws or nose, whether the area has been trimmed or not. Be sure to advise the veterinary caregiver of any past skin condition.
The veterinarian will check the affected area around the paw or nose to determine if there is any indication of hardness, swelling, or pain. She may order a biopsy to rule out an autoimmune skin disease. She may have to carefully trim the excess skin around the area. You may be shown how to do this regularly at home.
Treatment of Corns (Keratomas and Hyperkeratosis) in Dogs
Treatment will start right away in order to eliminate the pain and improve your dog’s health. The first step is to soften the calloused skin around the nose or the paws. To do so, the veterinary team may apply moistened or wet dressings to soften and lubricate the area with aloe, petroleum jelly or mineral oil. If there is an infection, topical antibiotics might be prescribed.
Nasal hyperkeratosis tends to affect Labrador Retrievers more than other canines and so topical solutions would be recommended for regular use. The veterinarian will ask that you keep a watchful eye on your pet’s diet, behavior, and activity in the upcoming days. Vitamin A supplements could be suggested as an addition to your dog’s diet since it helps to normalize the skin. Ongoing soaking in wet dressings and application of topical solutions may be necessary once or twice per week.
Recovery of Corns (Keratomas and Hyperkeratosis) in Dogs
Recovery will be dependent on regular treatment and how it is administered and managed. A follow up vet visit may be necessary after two weeks. For noticeable improvement, be sure to pay close attention to whether your pet goes back to his normal behavior pattern. Keep your pet out of areas where there are sand flies. Make sure that you use topical solutions that contain sweet almond oil as well as a combination of shea butter, essential oils and Vitamin E. This will continue to moisturize the skin, favoring reduced occurrence of the symptoms leading to hyperkeratosis and keratomas. This is a reoccurring condition. Therefore, your main focus and objective is keeping your beloved canine in pristine health.