Sidney is an active  4 year old Whippet who had become lame on his left front leg over the covid lockdown of 2020.

At the time there had been some grit and a small wound in his toe pad which was investigated under anaesthesia with the offending abnormal tissue cut away. However, the problem didn’t entirely resolve and Sidney represented to us a number of times subsequently.

What eventuated was that Sidney had developed an abnormal growth of tissue in his front pad known as a “corn”. Corns are painful to touch and also to walk on, especially on hard ground or gravel.

A traditional approach to this problem is to cut the corn away which we did again, and subsequently a specialist did the same. Whilst this approach has worked in many dogs over the years, it isn’t always successful and sadly, it didn’t work for Sidney.

The theory is that the corn can develop as a result of abnormal pressures on the pad when walking, so in recurrent cases a modification of the anatomy can be performed to change the points of pressure on the pad.

So in January this year Vet Cliff Maw performed a superficial digital flexor tenotomy. This means that he operated to find the specific tendon which causes flexion of the toe joint on the affected digit.

He then cut a section out of the tendon so that it no longer had the ability to flex that toe.


The result is that the affected toe now sits a little differently when Sidney is standing and thus pressure is transferred to another area of the pad. The area with the corn, which no longer has the pressure it once had, can now start to resolve and in time we hope that the corn will “grow out” and fall off.

I’m pleased to report that Sidney’s owner noted an instant improvement in Sidney’s long term lameness. He could walk soundly very soon after the operation and 8 weeks later the corn loosened and came away from the pad. If you look hard at Sidney’s foot, you can see that this particular toe sits slightly different to the others but that’s a small price to pay for curing his chronically sore toe.

Enjoy your pets

Jason Williams

Bicester Vets

Hip Hip Hooray for Ava

Hip Hip Hooray for Ava

Ava is now seven months on from her surgery. She is very lively and is behaving like a puppy again!