Canine Papilloma Virus

The papilloma virus causes warts in canines. The warts can be identified as structures that resemble a cauliflower. Most commonly, the warts occur around the eyes, in the mouth or other mucous membranes. The warts may be treated, but often they can disappear without getting any medical attention.

Warts and the Papilloma Virus

Warts in dogs are caused by the presence of the papilloma virus. The virus strikes mostly dogs that have a weak or undeveloped immune system. Consequently, the warts are more frequent in puppies and senior dogs. Adult dogs are often exposed to the papilloma virus, but the immune system fights off the virus.

The warts are lesions that have a cauliflower like structure and will affect the muzzle, mouth, eye lids or feet of the dog. Typically, there will be several warts in one area.

Transmission of the Virus

The papilloma virus can be transmitted through direct contact with a dog with warts. Also, the virus may be present in the environment of a dog affected by warts and may be transmitted in this way also.

If you have a multi dog household and a dog with warts, you should keep him isolated for 1 to 2 months. However, adult dogs and dogs that have a healthy immune system are very unlikely to get the virus, so you may only keep your pet away from puppies and older dogs to prevent infection. However, the infection cannot be fully controlled, as the incubation period may last up to 2 months and the dog may not present any signs of warts but still be a carrier of the papilloma virus.

The papilloma virus may survive for up to 2 months in an environment.

The virus cannot be transmitted to humans.

Diagnosing Warts

Warts on dogs have a cauliflower like structure and are light in color. However, these warts should be tested and identified. Tumors or other growths that can be benign or malignant may be mistaken for warts.

A sample of the cells that make up the warts will be needed to establish the nature of the growth and to determine if the dog has warts and is infected with the papilloma virus.

Treatment Options for the Canine Papilloma Virus

Most commonly, the dog will not require any treatment. The pailloma virus may be active, but the dog’s immune system will build up immunity and will be able to fight off the virus in a few months after contracting it. Typically, the warts will also disappear once the papilloma virus is no longer active.

If the warts are very unaesthetic or are located on the dog’s eye lids or mouth and interfere with the swallowing process, the vet can remove the warts with an uncomplicated surgery. The surgery is not always recommended, as it has a few risks and it is better to simply wait until the warts go away.

On average, the warts can disappear in 3 to 5 months. In rare cases, the warts may persist.