Dogs can get warts. Warts (Viral Papillomas) are a common skin condition in dogs. They can occur for a variety of reasons but are often caused by the canine papillomavirus or from trauma to the dog’s skin. Dog warts are an unsightly growth that appears on the surface of your dog’s skin, typically around their face, mouth, or paws.
Dog viral warts are most common in young dogs and are usually harmless, but they can be painful and unsightly.
The term “warts” is actually used to describe many different types of benign tumors that develop when certain viruses infect hair follicles in your dog’s face, mouth, or paws.
Dog warts are a viral infection but there is no easy way to tell which type of wart has infected them.
In this article, we’ll talk about how you can spot warts on your dog and what effective treatment options are available if your pup does get them.
How to Tell if Your Dog Has a Wart
The first step in finding warts on your dog is to know where to look and what to look for! Warts on dogs are usually found around the mouth and nose and they will look like strange, bumpy growths.
Look closely for them and you will probably have no issues finding warts on your dog if they exist.
Warts may also appear around the anus, ears, genitals, urethra (in males), vulva (in females), and eyes. Owners will often notice an increase in licking or scratching at these areas as well.
There is a difference between warts and canine papillomas, which is when there are no hair follicles present.
What Do Dogs Warts Look Like?
Warts will often show up on the skin in clusters or rows of bumps. It may seem like there’s only one wart when in fact it could be many.
When examining the area closely, small little bumps might appear in between larger ones.
If you suspect that you have found something that resembles a wart or papilloma, ask your vet for an official diagnosis and treatment plan.
While normal warts are not a form of skin cancer what you are seeing on your dog may not be a wart after all so call your vet to be sure.
How Do Dogs Get Warts?
Warts can be transmitted from one dog to another during playtime or by coming into contact with an infected surface such as a sidewalk or food bowl.
Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, which is very contagious to dogs. The virus starts with one wart and spreads to others nearby.
Dogs may have more than one type of wart at a time because they develop so quickly. No matter where your dog gets his warts, you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as possible!
If your dog’s immune system is compromised due to being an older dog, disease, or injury it may be more susceptible to warts than other animals.
Dog Warts Incubation Period
It will normally take one to two months for warts to show up on your dog after their infection with the canine oral papilloma virus.
It is important that you take them for a regular physical exam at your vet’s office
Symptoms of Dog Warts
Warts are a common problem that can affect dogs, and if you don’t know what you are looking for they might be difficult to notice.
If your pet is suffering from warts, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Rough patches of reddish skin irritation or sores that ooze a liquid
- A thickened blackish growth on the skin
- Small bumps or lumps on the surface of your dog’s skin
- Growths that look like cauliflower florets or rough bumps that may bleed
- Dog warts can cause itching and thus scratching
- Your dog may start licking the area excessively
Are Warts Dangerous to Your Dog?
A wart can be harmless to humans but it’s not always the case for animals like dogs who may develop secondary infections or even cancerous cells when infected with human viruses.
A wart in itself isn’t necessarily dangerous unless it becomes ulcerated which means there is an opening in the skin with infection leaking out.
These severe cases could put your dog at risk for serious complications like septicemia (blood poisoning) and would need immediate treatment by a medical professional.
It’s important to take any unusual changes in your pets’ health seriously so they don’t suffer. Contact your vet right away if you are unsure about something.
Are Dog Warts Contagious?
Yes, dog warts are contagious to other dogs! Experts state that dog warts are not contagious to other animals or humans.
Treatment for Dog Warts
There are treatments available that can help alleviate the discomfort your dog may be experiencing from their canine warts.
Remember, early treatment is the best option so it is important to address your dog’s warts issue as soon as possible. Especially if you notice any unusual changes in size or texture of the lesions.
Step one is to call your veterinarian and ask for their guidance. Your vet has a range of options available to them from a course of antibiotics, medications, cryotherapy, laser treatments, and even surgical removal of warts.
Your vet may even tell you that treatment for a dog’s warts is not even necessary or they may prescribe an over-the-counter medication.
It is possible your dog’s warts will simply fall off over time due to your dog’s own immune system fighting off the virus.
Natural Home Remedies for Dog Warts
Some people suggest that Vitamin E is a good way to get rid of your dog’s warts. Just apply a small amount of Vitamin E to the affected area twice a day.
Others suggest applying castor oil once a day will remove your dog’s warts over time.
Note that there is currently no formal scientific evidence that Vitamin E or castor oil works to get rid of dog warts. Ask your vet for advice before attempting any treatment on your own.
How Long Do Dog Warts Last?
In many cases, warts go away without treatment within two years but they can also last up to ten years depending on their size and location.
Again, call your vet for professional advice.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Getting Warts
The most common cause of dog warts is exposure to another infected dog with the virus that causes them.
In order to prevent your dog from developing this skin disease, you should limit their contact with other dogs as much as possible. Or at least stop any exposure to other dogs that you don’t know if they have warts or not.
Also, the Canine papilloma viruses can stay alive for long periods of time on objects such as an infected floor, food or water bowl, grooming brush, bedding, carpet, or dog chew toy.
Most dog experts also agree that over-vaccinating your dog can be a cause for warts.
List of Ways to Prevent Your Dog From Getting Warts
- Avoid other dogs.
- Avoid letting your dog lick another dog.
- Avoid dog kennels.
- Avoid public parks with other unknown dogs.
- Avoid using other dog’s grooming tools.
- Avoid letting your dog use another dog’s feeding bowl.
- Avoid letting your dog get bitten by insects. Yes, insects can transmit.
- Avoid over-immunizing your dog. Ask your vet for guidance.
- Keep your pet’s environment and living areas clean.
- Feed your dog well.
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.
- Keep your dog healthy.
- Consider health supplements if your vet recommends them for your dog.
Related Dog Wart Questions
Can Dogs Get Warts on Their Paws?
Yes, dogs can get warts on their paws and just about any other part of their body.
Can All Dog Breeds Get Warts?
Yes, any dog breed can get warts but some seem to be more susceptible than others including German Shepherds, Retrievers, Beagles, and Boxers.
Remember that younger dogs with immature immune systems are most likely to get dog warts.
Can Humans Give Human Warts to Their Dog?
No, humans cannot give their dog human warts.
Are Dog Skin Tags the Same as Dog Warts?
Skin tags may seem similar to warts but they will have a different shape and generally hang off the skin whereas a wart is a flat object attached to the skin.
Both dog skin tags and dog warts usually are not a major problem if treated early by your vet.
What are “Old Dog Warts?”
The term “Old Dog Warts” is generally used when discussing a condition known as Sebaceous Adenoma.
Sebaceous Adenomas are not warts although they look similar and usually appear on older dogs. Sebaceous Adenoma are benign tumors and are not caused by a virus like warts are
There are many myths about canine warts, some of which include that they can be transmitted to humans. That is not true! Only dogs can get warts from another dog.
The best way for your dog to avoid getting warts in the first place is by practicing good hygiene and keeping your dog away from places where they may come into contact with other dogs who have these contagious skin growths.
Warts on a dog should be treated by a veterinarian with an appropriate wart treatment. The good news is that harmless warts are generally not a big concern if treated early and properly.
Early detection is important. Always keep an eye out for new skin growths on your dog’s body and contact your vet for advice on proper medical treatment.