Keratomas in horses: seven cases (1975-1986).

Kevin C K Lloyd, P. R. Peterson, J. D. Wheat, A. E. Ryan, J. H. Clark

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36 Scopus citations


The diagnosis of keratoma in 7 horses and their treatment and outcome were evaluated. Horses were 2 to 20 years old, of various breeds, and were intact or castrated males. All were lame, and 6 horses had had previous injuries of the affected hoof that had not responded to prior treatments. Only 1 hoof was affected in each horse. Keratomas were beneath the hoof wall (6 horses) or sole (1 horse). Radiographically, a circular or semicircular defect with a discrete margin was present in the distal portion of the third phalanx in 3 horses. Grossly, keratomas were firm solitary masses (1.5 to 5 cm diameter); gray, tan, or yellow; and oval or conical. Keratomas were excised from beneath the hoof wall by removing a section of hoof wall (5 horses) or by undermining the wall beginning at its junction with the sole (1 horse). A keratoma beneath the sole in 1 horse was excised by excavating the sole to the level of the palmar surface of the third phalanx. Keratoma was verified microscopically by the presence of characteristic rings of squamous epithelial cells with abundant keratin. Purulent exudate and inflammatory infiltrate often were present concurrently, reflecting an associated localized infection. Aftercare included daily application of an antiseptic iodine solution and foot bandages, and shoeing with a treatment plate several weeks after surgery. Hoof and sole defects healed completely between 6 months and 1 year. By 1 year after surgery, 6 horses were sound, and keratoma had not recurred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)967-970
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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