Today’s topic is a bit icky. We’re talking about warts. The more formal term is viral papilloma. As in humans, viral papillomas are caused by a papilloma virus, although dogs & people have different papilloma viruses which cannot be transmitted across species lines.
Viral warts in dogs tend to possess frond-like structures creating a cauliflower-like appearance, though they can be smooth as well. The classical canine viral wart patient is a young dog with warts in or around the mouth or eyes. This is partially due to the fact that the young pup’s immune system hasn’t fully developed yet.
The infection is transmitted through direct contact with the papillomas on an infected dog or with the virus in the pet’s environment (on toys, bedding, food bowls etc.). Although some businesses are nice enough to put out water bowls for good dogs, sharing them isn’t such a good idea for young dogs or those with a weaker immune system. My huMom always brings my own water dish & fresh water when we travel.
The virus requires injured skin to establish infection; healthy skin will not be infected. The incubation period is 1 to 2 months. The virus can only be spread among dogs. It is not contagious to other animals or humans, & it appears not to be contagious after the lesion has regressed. Recovered dogs cannot be re-infected with the same strain of virus, however, there are several strains.
The good news is these warts aren’t dangerous & in most cases treatment is not needed. The good dog will build up an immunity in a month or two. But if after three months, if the warts aren’t gone a vet should be visited for a biopsy to confirm what your dealing with. There are medications in development but they aren’t widely available.
Sometimes there are many warts clustered together which may cause discomfort. In those cases the warts can be removed by a vet either by laser or freezing them off.
So now you know, dogs can get warts. Especially puppies & dogs with a weakened immune system.
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CEO Olivia ❤