A keratoma is a benign mass made up of keratin that is situated between the hoof wall and distal phalanx. The cause is unknown. The condition may be difficult to detect until the growth is well advanced. There may be bulging of either the coronary band or the hoof wall over the keratoma, depending on its position within the foot. Pressure from the keratoma causes bone resorption of the distal phalanx in most cases, which can be visualized via the 65° dorsopalmar radiographic view of the distal phalanx. Surgical removal of the mass is indicated. If possible, it is best to localize the mass using different imaging techniques (ie, radiography, CT) and only resect the hoof wall immediately over the mass.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by Stephen B. Adams, DVM, MS, DACVS; Andrew L. Crawford, BVetMed, CertES (Orth), MRCVS; James K. Belknap, DVM, PhD, DACVS; Jane C. Boswell, MA, VetMB, CertVA, CertES (Orth), DECVS, MRCVS; Peter Clegg, MA, Vet MB, PhD, CertEO, DECVS, MRCVS; Marcus J. Head, BVetMed, MRCVS; C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, DACVS; James Schumacher, DVM, MS, DACVS, MRCVS; John Schumacher, DVM, MS, DACVS, MRCVS; Roger K. W. Smith, MA, VetMB, PhD, DEO, DECVS, MRCVS; Chris Whitton, BVSc, FACVSc, PhD; Jean-Marie Denoix, DVM, PhD, Agregé; Joerg A. Auer, DrMedVet, Dr h c, MS, DACVS, DECVS