Natural Health Solutions: Dog Warts
Natural methods can safely treat viral papillomas common seen in dogs.
Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M.
Warts, more properly called papillomas, are among the most common skin lesions in dogs. Conventional medicine offers little more than surgery for dogs with warts, but natural medicine offers several alternative treatments that can quickly resolve one type of viral wart.
Two types of warts are commonly seen in dogs. The first type usually occurs in puppies, although I've seen them in middle-aged and older dogs, as well. This type of wart is caused by the canine papilloma virus. It's highly transmissible between puppies and dogs, and it's not unusual for it to affect several dogs in a household. It's wise to avoid exposing uninfected dogs to infected dogs until the lesions are gone.
Warts caused by the canine papilloma virus typically occur on mucous membranes, and are commonly found on the lips, nose and gums of infected dogs. Less commonly, the warts are found in the mucous membranes of the anus or genitals.
The second type of wart is often referred to as the "old-dog wart," and its cause is unknown. These warts occur anywhere on the dog's body, except the mucous membranes. They are not caused by the canine papilloma virus and are not contagious.
Old-dog warts are more commonly seen in smaller breeds, especially Poodles, Maltese, and Bichons Frises, although they can occur in any older dog.
Viral and old-dog warts typically appear as small, raised pinkish lesions, although they can also be white, gray and black (in which case they are easily confused with a melanoma tumor, a more serious skin lesion).
Viral-induced warts that occur on mucous membranes tend to be larger and more elevated from the skin surface compared to old-dog warts. In addition, viral-induced warts also tend to occur in clusters rather than as single lesions, as is more typical of old-dog warts.
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