Warts in dogs, also called canine viral papillomatosis, are usually harmless growths. It is possible for wart formations in dogs to appear in different ways. When papilloma or wart-like formations are noticed in dogs, it is important not to confuse them with more serious diseases and to treat them properly. For this reason, it is necessary to know the details of the wart problem in dogs and to take an expert opinion when the symptoms are noticed. In this article, you can find what you wonder about warts in dogs and their treatment.
What Are Papillomas / Warts in Dogs?
Formations called papillomas or warts are benign tumors caused by viruses. These tumors usually disappear on their own. The main reason for this situation is that the formations are caused by viruses and the body develops immunity against the virus over time. However, not all warts are the same. Some warts may become inflamed or infected, and these formations may not disappear over time. In such cases, the need for surgical intervention may arise. Papillomas are common in dogs, but this problem is extremely rare in cats.
What Causes Warts in Dogs?
Warts in dogs are caused by papillomavirus infection. A wart seen on one dog can easily be transmitted to other dogs. It is known that the infection, which can be passed from dog to dog, is not transmitted to other animals and humans. The papilloma virus in dogs can spread very easily. Since this virus can survive for a long time without any intermediate host, it is possible for viruses left behind by an infected dog to infect another dog.
The virus that infects the dog invades the dog’s host cells and transmits its own genetic information to the host cells’ DNA. Due to this transmission, the normal cell division process is disrupted. As a result of abnormal and rapid division, structures called warts are formed. After dogs are infected with the papilloma virus, the appearance of warts occurs on average 1 to 2 months.
There are many different types of papilloma virus, there are variations of this virus that affect humans and all animal species. There are papilloma viruses that specifically affect each living species. There are viruses that affect different areas such as around the mouth, paw, and inside the mouth. Whichever papilloma virus is infected with a dog, the dog becomes immune to it, so it is considered normal to see wart formations in the dog at different times.
Types of Warts in Dogs
Warts in dogs are a common condition. However, it is more common in puppies, dogs whose immune system is suppressed due to any treatment, and dogs who spend more time outside with other dogs. In addition, some breeds such as Pug and Cocker Spaniel have a higher incidence of warts. Oral papillomas, also called warts on the rim in dogs, are usually more common in puppies. Skin papillomas called Solitary Cutaneous, genital papillomas, eyelid and conjunctival papillomas can affect dogs of all ages.
Wart Symptoms in Dogs
It is possible to physically see warts in dogs. The warts, which look like a small cauliflower head, can be distributed in an irregular structure on the dog’s body. There are also rare types of papillomas that form scaly skin plaques called inverted papillomas and develop as a hard lump under the skin. Warts can often develop around the mouth and eyes of dogs or between the toes. Although warts can be easily noticed in dogs, in some cases they can go unnoticed. Warts that appear on the paws and become infected can cause limping in dogs. Warts around and inside the mouth can make it difficult for the dog to feed, and can cause severe bad breath.
Wart Treatment in Dogs
Wart treatment in dogs may not usually become a necessity. When the dog’s body develops immunity to the virus, the warts are expected to disappear on their own. In some cases, different applications may be required for the treatment of papilloma disease in dogs.
When the warts are numerous and large in size and therefore reduce the dog’s quality of life, medical treatment or, in very advanced cases, surgical intervention to remove the warts may be considered. Warts that cause difficulty in walking, eating and drinking in dogs must be treated. Warts may bleed or become infected, and these conditions must be closely observed and the necessary treatment must be applied by the veterinarian. Although rare, warts that do not go away on their own in dogs may turn into cancerous tumors. For this reason, warts that do not go away on their own within 3 to 5 months should be treated even if they do not cause any other problems. The drug for papilloma in dogs is not the only one, and the appropriate drug treatment should be selected according to the wart and general health condition of each dog.
In the treatment of papilloma disease in dogs;
• Drugs that stimulate the immune system,
• Antiviral and antitumor drugs,
• Medicines that support the immune system,
• Antibiotics may be preferred. In addition to these treatment methods, the dog’s immune system can be stimulated with a vaccine made from the warts of the dog, called autogenous vaccination.
If the dog has a single or very few warts, if the warts do not go away on their own, it may be preferred to remove the warts with laser or cryosurgery applications.
Preventing the Spread of Warts in Dogs
In order to prevent warts in dogs, first of all, other dogs that the dog comes into contact with should be kept under control. If there is contact with a dog with warts, the possibility of transmission is very high, so contact should not be allowed. If the dog has open wounds or irritation on its skin, if the dog has immune system problems, it should be kept away from areas where other dogs spend time and should be isolated as much as possible. If warts occur in dogs despite all precautions, this time the dog should be kept away from other dogs until the warts are gone in order to prevent contamination to the opposite side.