Brand keratoma

From Cow
Keratoma formation secondary to branding of a steer[1]

Brand keratoma are a relatively common benign neoplasia of cattle as a result of branding.

These keratoma form as a result of a burn scar associated with branding, and chronic unresolved irritation might predispose to mutations in keratin healing. Keratoma are often slow growing and may take years to fully develop and are often seen in older cattle.

Histologically, these nonmalignant tumours are characterized by marked orthokeratosis and regular epidermal hyperplasia.

A differential diagnosis would include ichthyosis[2].

A small percentage of these tumours mutate into squamous cell carcinoma but the majority are nonpathogenic.


  1. O'Toole D & Fox JD (2003) Chronic hyperplastic and neoplastic cutaneous lesions (Marjolin's ulcer) in hot-brand sites in adult beef cattle. J Vet Diagn Invest 15(1):64-67
  2. Testoni S et al (2006) Ichthyosis in two Chianina calves. Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr 113(9):351-354