If you have discovered a small bumpy lump on your dog than there is a chance it could be a wart. These clusters of abnormal cells are caused by the papilloma viruses and look something like this
First of all you should know that dog warts are not contagious to different species so cannot spread to yourself or other type of pets. It is also extremely rare that warts become cancerous as they will normally only grow to a rather small size. In very rare cases, a wart can turn into a cancerous skin lesion these lesions don’t stop growing or changing.
Because most warts do not cause any harm it is usually suggested to just leave them alone, however some dog warts can trigger an ‘itch’ response, making the dog lick or scratch the area which can also makes it bleed and get infected in this case you might want to have the warts removed by your vet or try some one the remedies below.
There are two types of dog wart the oral papillomas which usually affect only young dogs under the age of 2 and a wart that is often referred to as the “old-dog wart”, these warts occur anywhere on the dog’s body, except the mucous membranes and are very common. You will see this wart appear on older dogs as they reach their seniors years of around 7 and over.
Young dogs are more susceptible to the papilloma virus because their immune system is not fully developed. As their immune system matures, they produce antibodies against the virus and the warts usually eventually disappear on their own however in rare cases it can spread and need vet intervention. With this type of wart affected dogs can transmit the virus to other dogs through direct contact so if your dog shows symptoms it is best to keep them isolated until is subsides. This type of wart however is very rare and I have never seen it in my salon.
It’s assumed all dogs have been exposed to this papilloma viruses. But because all canine papilloma viruses are opportunistic, they only flare in bodies with immune systems that aren’t 100 percent healthy this may correlate to why we see the second type of wart apprear on older dogs. These Old-dog warts are more commonly seen in smaller breeds, especially Poodles, Maltese, and Bichons Frises, although they can occur in any older dog.
Remedies for dog warts
Thuja is it is considered safe for most dogs. It is available in pellets or liquid. Give 3-6 pellets or 3-6 drops by mouth once. Results should be seen within 1-2 weeks. Noticeable results may not be seen until the second week. Repeat after two weeks, if necessary. In cases where the dog has a large number of warts, increase the initial amount to two doses of 3-6 pellets or 3-6 drops, spaced 12 hours apart.
Thuja can cause abortions so do not use in a pregnant animal.
Psorinoheel is another supplement but has psorinum and sulfur, in addition to Thuja, which all act as antiviral agents.
Azithromycin. This is a type of antibiotic used to treat warts in humans and has also proven to be an effective treatment for warts in dogs however it will need to be prescribed by a veterinarian.
Apple cider vinegar, castor oil, or vitamin E
Apple cider vinegar, castor oil, or vitamin E if applied to the wart a few times a day for a week or more will soften the wart at sometimes the wart will just fade away or fall off.
Styptic powder stops any bleeding from the wart and it is a powerful antiseptic so will fight off any itchy infection, and in some cases I have heard it has caused the wart to just drop off.
Human wart treatment
You can use human wart treatment from the chemist is spots the dog cannot lick. With the paint on ones just make sure you apply nail polish on something over the top to stop air getting to the wart. You will also usually need to use these remedies more than one over a few weeks.
However if you are successful in removing the wart s unless the immune function problem is addressed it is likely your dogs body will continue to produce warts.
This can be quite difficult to almost impossible for an old dog fighting the aging process however you may want to look over your dogs diet again to see if there are improvements you can make – see the great food debate