Veterinary advice should be sought before applying any treatment or vaccine.


A keratoma is a tumor of the keratin-containing tissue and squamous epithelial cells of the inner hoof wall. They develop as cylindrical or spherical-shaped masses, ranging in size from 0.5-2 cm (0.20-0.78 in) in diameter. Keratomas are usually found growing beneath the rigid hoof wall or sole of the foot. As these tumors grow in size, they will start to press into sensitive laminae tissue, and against the coffin bone. This will eventually result in the horse developing chronic recurrent abscesses, caused by the pressure necrosis of the tumor growth. Some horses may also show signs of abnormal hoof growth overlying the affected region or there may be a visible deviation of the coronary band. Keratoma treatment may require surgical removal of the tumor in cases where the tumor growth has resulted in abnormal hoof growth.


Bulging of the hoof wall
Intermittent or chronic, moderate to severe lameness
Dorsal deviation of the coronary band
Abnormal hoof growth
Recurring hoof abscesses


  • History - of subsolar abscesses or trauma to the affected foot.
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam - Pain on palpation, sensitivity to hoof testers.
  • Radiographs - Visible semicircular to circular well-demarcated area of radiolucency along the solar margin of the third phalanx, caused by pressure necrosis fromt he karatoma.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - p


Surgical removal of the keratoma and curettage of surrounding necrotic tissues
Systemic antimicrobial drugsto reduce postoperative infections.
NSAIDsto reduce pain and inflammation
Hoof ManagementApplying an eggbar or heartbar shoe for postoperative stabilization


Good, however it can take up to a year before regrowth of the hoof.

Scientific Research References

Good Overviews

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Risk Factors

  • Previous trauma involving the hoof