Keratocanthomas are benign neoplasms of the skin found on the chest, back, or tail. The tumor’s center is sometimes filled by a keratin plug. 1

Clinical Signs
KA presents with a characteristic appearance of a crateriform lesion, a central keratinous plug, and edges of normal skin extending over the central keratinous crater.

Keratoacanthomas can be surgically removed, but is often known to involute and resolve spontaneously. While this type of tumor does tend to resolve on its own after several weeks to months (spontaneous involution), the resulting wound may sometimes require suturing, and may or may not leave a scar.

Although lotions and ointments do not help to resolve this growth, if surrounding tissue is cracked, irritated or inflamed, the vet may choose to treat with applications of an antimicrobial ointment.

If the decision is made for surgical intervention, the procedure may be one of surgical excision, cryosurgery (a controlled type of tissue freezing), or electrocautery, depending on the location and involvement of the growth.
In the event of surgery, the inclusion of a post-op broad-spectrum antimicrobial is encouraged. The vet may also consider providing post-op pain control with oral torbugesic or banamine.2


  1. Merck Veterinary Manual
  2. Health Guide: Keratoacanthoma

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