Dog Warts

Dog Warts

Warts in dogs are also called canine viral papillomatosis. Though this name sounds serious, a diagnosis of dog warts is rarely serious, although it is worth your attention.

Symptoms Of Dog Warts?

Any dog can get warts, but they are most common in younger dogs, dogs who are immunosuppressed, dogs who spend a lot of time with other dogs, and in breeds including Pugs and Cocker Spaniels.

Warts on a dog usually look like a small head of cauliflower, but other types do exist, although these are rarer. Some dogs may get an inverted papilloma, which is a firm lump with a dot in the middle, or dark, scaly plaques of skin with an irregular surface. Warts can develop in or around your dog’s mouth, around the eyes, between their toes, or on the skin. Usually, a vet can diagnosis dog warts with a simple physical exam.

Some dogs may develop just one or only a few warts, that are small and easy to overlook. Other sogs may have entire regions of the body covered in warts or various sizes. Warts in and around the mouth can make it hard for your dog to eat and drink normally. Warts on the paws can cause lameness, especially if they get infected.

What Causes Dog Warts?

Dog warts are caused by an infection with papillomavirus. Warts are contagious to other others, but not other animals or people. There are lots of different types of canine papillomavirus that have been identified. Each different type causes a particular form of the disease, such as warts around the mouth, or warts on the feet. Once a dog has been infected with and treated for one type of the virus, he will be immune from the type, but not the others.

Dogs catch papillomavirus through a break in the skin from other dogs who already have the virus. The virus can live in the environment for weeks, so it is possible for a dog who has warts to leave the virus behind in an area, and another dog to pick it up at a later time. Warts develop after a month or two after the dog has been infected.

Treating Dog Warts

Warts will generally go away on their own after a few months as the dog develops immunity against the virus. There are times when you should seek treatment from a vet:

  • Dog warts that are so large, numerous, or in locations that cause other symptoms, including lameness, difficulty eating, or eye irritation.
  • Warts that bled or become infected.
  • Warts that fail to resolve on their own after three to five months, as these can turn into cancerous tumours.
  • Warts on a dog who us taking immunosuppressive medications or have other serious health conditions.

If just one or a small number of warts is a worry, then surgical removal is the most common treatment. This can be done with a scalpel, laser, or through cryosurgery. Medications can also be prescribed to treat large numbers of warts.

Click here to view our other articles

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.