/Dog Warts and All – What to Know

Dog Warts and All – What to Know

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We know that dogs are susceptible to some of the same ailments that humans are—the common cold and Lyme Disease, just to name a few. But did you know that dogs can also get warts?
“Yes, dogs can get ‘warts,’” Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, explains. “These are not exactly the same type of warts that people get. This is caused by the papilloma virus and can be easily spread between dogs.”
Dog warts develop from the papilloma or fibropapillomas viruses. While the virus is contagious between dogs, the good news is these skin growths are usually no cause for immediate concern.
“These are benign, not cancerous masses that pop up on the skin,” Ochoa adds. In fact, most of the time, dog warts go away on their own without any medical assistance or treatment. Dogs can develop warts on their arms, feet, between toes, anus or genitals, or if they develop in or around the mouth, then they are considered oral papillomas.
“Papillomas typically develop on the lips, tongue, throat or gums,” explains Dr. Ruth MacPete, veterinarian and author of Lisette the Vet.
Dog warts are usually more common in younger dogs as younger dogs are more susceptible, thanks to their still-developing immune systems.
“Young dogs are more susceptible to the papilloma virus because their immune system is not fully developed,” Dr. MacPete says. “As their immune system matures, they produce antibodies against the virus and the warts can eventually disappear.”
For more on dog warts, how to identify them and treat them, keep reading!
Dog warts usually do not come with any symptoms. In fact, the main key to distinguishing if an abnormal dog skin growth is actually a wart is assessing its appearance.
“Canine oral papillomas are usually asymptomatic,” Dr. MacPete explains.
“There are really no symptoms of warts,” Dr. Ochoa agrees. “They are just very small cauliflower growths on the skin. Usually they do no itch or cause any problems. Some dogs will have them on their arms or feet and when they become bored the dog will bite on the warts causing them to bleed.”
Aside from your dog scratching the warts and causing them to bleed, if the warts become infected, they may be painful. If your dog has oral papillomas, they might cause difficulty or pain while eating. If this is the case, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Veterinarians usually rely on the papilloma’s characteristic appearance in order to diagnose a wart, but it’s usually a good idea to check that the growth is benign.
“They are round and have an irregular surface, reminiscent of a