Dog Warts : Types & Treatments

Dog warts are pesky yet painless bumps that dogs can develop on various parts of your dog's body.

Even though warts are relatively harmless, it is important that they are diagnosed and observed to prevent any cancerous growths.

Dog Warts Defined

dog warts

Benign Dog Wart

A dog wart is the singular form of papillomas, meaning only one visible bump in an isolated area.

Warts usually occur on the aging skin of older dogs -- as if the loss of hair and muscle strength weren't enough for them to deal with! They can also be more of a problem in breeds that need to be groomed (clippers may cut the wart and cause bleeding).

Dog warts can also trigger an 'itch' response, making the dog lick or scratch the area which also makes it bleed or get infected.

dog warts

Benign Dog Wart

In homeopathy, warts are commonly associated with over-vaccination.

Their appearance will let you know if they are benign (non-cancerous) or cancerous.

There are three common appearances of dog warts:

  1. Small, skin colored, resembling a mushroom on a stalk or a tiny finger. These common warts are benign and nothing to worry about, as long as they remain the same size and shape. It is still a good idea to have the dog wart examined by your veterinarian.
  1. If that small, mushroom like wart begins to grow in size and ulcerate, your dog could have a problem. Have the wart diagnosed by your veterinarian, who may have it removed.
  1. Warts with dark areas that are growing on the eyelid or around the lips could be malignant melanoma (potentially fatal skin cancer). These should be checked by your vet and removed immediately.
dog warts

Malignant Growth Above Dog's Lips

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Dog Warts vs. Papillomas

A dog wart is considered the singular form of papillomas, occurring as a lone bump in an isolated area of the body. Papillomas are benign (non-cancerous) canine tumors that commonly occur in clumps and resemble the scales of a fish.

Papillomas can often be found on young puppies and tend to take on a unique appearance mirroring tufts of cauliflower. This may look a bit scarier than it actually is, but it should be closely observed.

If you have noticed white clumps growing in and/or around the mouth of your puppy, understand that:

dog warts

Canine Papillomas Under Chin

  • These papillomas are viral in nature
  • They tend to clear up after a few months as the puppy's immune system matures
  • Certain cases of puppy papillomas have been know to grow slightly severe in nature, especially if the growths climb into the throat, which can cause difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • These growths can be removed if necessary by burning away the tissues

As always... when in doubt, take your dog to the vet.

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Holistic Treatments & Dog Wart Removal

Since dog warts are generally harmless, you may want to treat them naturally to avoid surgery or the use of potentially harmful manmade topical creams.

In addition, turning to conventional means of removing them may only trigger new ones to appear.

Here are a few things to try:

  • Consider giving the homeopathic remedy THUYA 12c (available at natural health food stores). Using Thuya orally (or topically, in some cases) has been VERY beneficial as a treatment for warts when they may be due to over vaccination. It can be given in one of two ways:
    • One dry pellet by mouth two times daily for the next 6 weeks
    • Or dissolve one pellet into 2oz of spring water and give it by eye dropper two times daily for the next 6 weeks
  • Apply Vitamin E from a punctured Vitamin E capsule directly to the wart. Do this a few times a day for several weeks until you see improvement.
  • Another option is to apply castor oil directly to the dog warts in order to soften them and reduce irritation. Castor oil can be found in most drug stores.
dog warts

For general overall skin health and to prevent warts in the first place, don't forget that the skin, the largest organ in the body, fights harmful elements in conjunction with other vital organs. While the skin works as a barrier to keep bad things out of the body, the kidneys, intestines and liver work to get rid of waste on the inside.

Skin and Coat Tonic from PetAlive is an effective natural treatment towards promoting the healthy functioning of these internal organs and boosting the immune system in order to help keep the skin healthy.

If you're not sure about your dog's wart and want us to take a look before you spend money on a vet, we're happy to help. Submit a close-up picture of the affected area via My Online Vet along with:

dog warts
  • Your dog's breed, age, gender diet and lifestyle
  • The progression of the growth of the spot in question (timeframe, change in color, etc.)
  • Advice you have received from others, if any
  • What you have done to try to fix the problem, if anything

Click here to ask the veterinarian your question and to submit your picture.

You can also review pictures and questions submitted by other visitors in our My Online Vet Ask-A-Vet Library section on Dog Warts, Cysts and Strange Growths.

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