How to recognize, treat and cure dog warts.
Dog warts, or papillomas, are among the most common canine skin lesions. Generally, there are two types of dog warts, one commonly seen in puppies and young dogs, and the other which afflicts middle aged to older dogs.
Neither of these poses a major medical problem and left untreated will generally disappear within 6 to 12 weeks. However, of the two, the variety affecting younger dogs is the more serious.
Papilloma Virus Dog Warts
This type of wart is caused by the canine papilloma virus, and is highly contagious. It is not unusual for an infection to spread to other pets in the same household.
Typically, these dog warts affect the mucous membranes, particularly the lips, nose, and gums. They are also sometimes found in the mucous membranes of the anus or genitals, although this is less common.
Because these warts are highly infectious, it is advisable to keep infected dogs away from other pets until the lesions have cleared.
Benign Dog Warts
The other type of wart commonly occurs in older dogs, particularly those of smaller breeds, like Bichons and Maltese. These can appear anywhere on the body, except the mucous membranes. They are not caused by the canine papilloma virus and are not contagious.
Both of these types of warts are typically small, and appear as raised lesions, usually pink, white, gray, or occasionally black, in color. The papilloma virus warts tend, however, to be larger and often occur in clusters.
While neither wart is dangerous, the viral warts can become infected, causing bleeding and pain. This is particularly the case with warts that occur in the mouth. Warts that occur around the genital areas may also cause pain and may lead to the dog becoming constipated.
The warts occurring in older dogs, usually cause no problem at all, unless they are scratched by the dog in which case they may bleed and become infected. These warts are also sometimes nicked during grooming.
Be very wary though, of any wart that grows, changes color, and causes itching or bleeding. It may have become malignant, in which case it is safest to have the wart removed and biopsied. However, there is normally no need for a wart can be surgically removed.
If you do wish to treat your dog’s warts there are a number of homeopathic remedies you can try. Castor oil or Vitamin E, applied directly to the wart, may also have a beneficial effect in the treatment of dog warts.