Viral Warts in Dogs

Viral warts in dogs, also known as viral papilloma, are growths that develop on your pet's body and typically around his face and mouth. These growths are not cancerous and are benign, but they may prove to be uncomfortable for your pet, so it's important to be aware of them when they do occur. They generally appear as small, cauliflower shaped growths of skin around the eyes, nose and mouth. Read on for a brief overview of viral warts in dogs, including information on the symptoms that they present, how to diagnose them, and the treatment options from which you have to choose.

Symptoms of Viral Warts in Dogs

Viral warts can occur in any breed of dog and are equally likely to be found in pets of both genders. They are most commonly found in pets under two years of age, as there is believed to be a link between the growth of the warts and certain phases of your pet's general development. In order to be able to determine the existence of your pet's viral warts, you'll need to be attuned to the following symptoms, which are most commonly seen in these cases:

  • Foul breath
  • Bleeding from the mouth or nose
  • Visible growths around the eyes, nose and mouth
  • Excessive salivation

If you notice these or any other symptoms which you think may be indicative of viral warts on your pet's face, take note of the symptoms that you see and bring your pet in to the vet for immediate analysis. While the warts are almost always not serious, they can nonetheless cause your pet discomfort and leave him more susceptible to other infections and conditions.

Diagnosing Viral Warts in Dogs

In most cases, your vet will diagnose viral warts based on the physical symptoms of the warts. However, he may also conduct several other tests in order to determine whether or not the warts are potentially serious. The most common other tools that your vet will use to help diagnose the condition include a full blood chemistry panel and count, which can help to identify certain chemicals associated with the warts in your pet's blood stream, and a biopsy of the warts. These tools are typically reserved for especially advanced cases.

Treating Viral Warts in Dogs

Most viral warts will resolve on their own and require no treatment. However, in cases in which the warts cause your pet extreme discomfort or pose some other type of hazard for your dog's health, surgery can be used to excise the viral warts. Surgery to remove the warts often makes use of cryo-techniques, which freeze the warts to allow them to be removed more easily. Crushing the warts will generally bring about an immune system response that helps to eliminate the wart as well.

For more information on viral warts in dogs and on how to treat your pet's particular case, consult with your veterinarian with additional questions.