Veterinary Society of
Surgical Oncology

General Considerations

  • benign epithelial proliferation arising from superficial epithelium between hair follicles
  • small to moderate size with pore containing keratin ± hair follicles
  • rupture produces a severe pyogranulomatous dermatitis due to the keratin contents of the cyst
  • cytology: keratinous debris, clusters of squamous cells ± cholesterol crystals
  • 1 case reported in the cat
  • intracutaneous cornifying epithelioma is common in dogs
  • sex predisposition: males
  • 2 distinct clinical patterns for intracutaneous cornifying epithelioma: solitary and generalized

Solitary Intracutaneous Cornifying Epithelioma

  • solitary form is more common in purebred dogs along the back, neck, thorax, and shoulders
  • treatment: surgery
  • prognosis: good

Generalized Intracutaneous Cornifying Epithelioma

  • Norwegian Elkhound and Keeshond are predisposed to the generalized or multicentric form
  • treatment: cryosurgery or retinoids (etretinate is better than isotretinoin)
  • prognosis: guarded to good with 71% complete response and 29% to retinoids, but recurrence is common following cessation of treatment


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