How contagious are dog warts? The Ultimate Guide

What are the clinical signs of papillomas?

Papillomas may appear as multiple oral papillomas in young dogs, solitary cutaneous (skin) papillomas in dogs of any age, venereal (genital) papillomas, eyelid or conjunctival papillomas, and fibropapillomas (in tissues, such as muscle). Various viruses are associated with different sites and in young and old animals. The lesions are usually inflamed polyps (warts), but may be flat, have scaly plaques, or inward-growing hard masses. They may ulcerate (break open) and bleed. Papillomas that grow inward may cause pain, particularly if they are on the feet. In dogs, these tumors are most common on the feet or around and in the oral cavity.

In cats, papillomas are usually flat, plaque-like, and sometimes scaly. There may be one or more lesions, usually on the head, neck, or limbs. There is also a fibropapilloma, or sarcoid, in cats caused by a papillomavirus subtype. These are rare and appear as one or more nodular masses, usually on the head, neck, ventral abdomen, and limbs.

What are warts?

Warts are a benign type of tumour of the skin. They can be singular or multiple and can occur anywhere on a dog’s body. Warts are generally caused by viruses. There are numerous types of virus which each cause a slightly different presentation of warts in different areas of the body. Warts are very common in dogs and for the most part are not serious or problematic.

How do dogs get warts?

Warts, or canine papillomas, are caused by certain types of virus. Dogs contract the virus when they come into contact with another infected dog. Canine papilloma viruses can survive for extended periods in the environment and can therefore be spread on objects such as bedding or toys.

Young dogs with immature immune systems or dogs with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to more significant infections where large numbers of warts develop. The virus usually gains entry to the dog’s skin through a wound or bite. After coming into contact with an infected dog it takes one to two months for a wart to develop. While dog to dog transmission of the virus occurs, fortunately it cannot spread to humans or other animals.

Everything you Need to Know About Canine Warts