Warts in dogs. What do you do about them? Have you noticed a strange lump on your dog’s skin? Could it be a wart? Could it be a tumor? It’s a valid question and one that many dog owners have asked themselves. After all, warts are common in humans, so why not dogs too? Well, the good news is that, yes, dogs can get viral warts. However, there is much more to it than that. Let’s dive into the details of what you need to know about canine warts.
Types of Dog Warts
There are two types of canine warts—viral papillomas and sebaceous adenomas.
Canine papillomavirus (CPV), which is contagious among animals, but not humans, is spread through direct contact with an infected dog or contaminated objects, such as at dog parks or dog daycare, or really anything in your pet’s environment in which indirect contact with other dogs is possible. These viral papillomas have an incubation period of 1-2 months and can often show up around your dog’s mouth. Puppies and young dogs are especially susceptible because their immune systems are still developing. Stress and poor nutrition can also make puppies more vulnerable to the virus, along with the immature immune systems that younger dogs tend to have. This can also affect senior dogs, who tend to have a compromised immune response.
Canine oral papillomas are caused by the Papillomavirus and can generally look like raised bumps on the skin or even on the tongue or mouth. These types of warts tend to appear as a viral infection in puppies between six weeks and six months old but can also occur in older dogs as well. In most cases, viral canine papillomas will go away on their own without any treatment and will not require surgical removal. Rare cases will require a veterinarian’s supervision.
The other type of wart is called a sebaceous adenoma which is caused by an overproduction of sebum in the glands above a dog’s hair follicles. These types of warts tend to look like yellowish-brown lumps with an oily texture, and they usually occur around the head, neck, or chest area. They can look a little like skin tags. They usually don’t require treatment unless they become irritated or cause problems for your pet. It’s a good idea to get a definitive diagnosis anyways.
Diagnosing Warts in Dogs
If you’re concerned about any kind of lump or bump on your pet’s skin, it’s important to take them to the vet for diagnosis as soon as possible so that any potential health issues can be addressed quickly and effectively. Your vet will examine your dog’s warts carefully and may take a sample for further testing if necessary. Once diagnosed, your vet will recommend appropriate treatment options for your pet depending on what type of wart they have been diagnosed with and its severity.
In some cases, dietary changes may be recommended, or topical treatments may be prescribed to help remove the wart if required. In severe cases, surgery may also be an option depending on how severe the wart has become and where it is located on your pet’s body. It’s a good idea to follow up with your vet regularly to ensure that any treatments are working properly and that no new warts have appeared since the last visit.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help protect your pup from developing warts in the future:
- Keep their vaccinations up-to-date to protect your dog’s immune system
- Avoid exposing them to other animals who may have CPV
- Regularly inspect their skin for any unusual bumps or lumps
- Provide them with a healthy diet and plenty of exercises
- Make sure they always have access to clean water and water bowls
- Take them for regular checkups with their veterinarian
- Practice good hygiene when handling pets who do have CPV
- Limit stress levels whenever possible
- Use preventative medications when necessary
- Practice good flea control methods
Warts in Dogs are Normal!
Warts can be common in both humans and animals alike, but they do not always need treatment right away unless they become bothersome or irritating for your pet. If you notice any unusual lumps or bumps on your pet’s skin, call your veterinarian right away so they can properly diagnose what type of wart your dog has been exposed to and provide appropriate medical treatment if necessary. By taking proactive measures such as keeping vaccinations up-to-date, monitoring their skin for any unusual changes, and providing them with proper nutrition and exercise, you can help ensure that your pup stays happy and healthy for years to come– keeping those pesky canine papillomaviruses away from you and your furry friend for good!