Dog Warts


Papillomas (warts) are benign skin tumours caused by viruses. They are less common in cats and are usually found in dogs. In dogs, they usually appear as inflamed polyps on the feet or in the mouth. They may also appear as flat, scaly, raised areas, or as hard inverted masses. Papillomas can be very painful, particularly if they are on the feet.

There are many different types of papilloma virus. Each species of animal, including humans, can be infected by different types. Due to each species having its own virus, there is limited danger of your pet transmitting the virus to you or your family. The papilloma virus can be carried by healthy animals without any signs of a problem, but can cause warts. These warts often disappear on their own, but be warned they can progress into skin cancer. If they become inflamed or infected, or if they bleed, they should be surgically removed by your vet.

If you observe a wart on your dog, particularly on his feet or around his mouth, it’s probably best to see your vet. Papillomas are normally harmless but if they become infected, it’s best they are removed.

It’s extremely common for dogs to start growing warts. Call us on 020 8977 3977 or pop in to our Teddington clinic for more information. We’re always happy to check over the health of your dog.

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Ian Stroud

Ian Stroud

Veterinary Surgeon at Vet4life
Ian Stroud is a highly experienced small animal veterinary surgeon with over 15 years working in practice. He has particular interests in several areas including minimally-invasive surgery, orthopaedics and oncology (cancer treatment). He currently practices in Teddington and Shepperton where he is the director of Vet4life.
Ian Stroud

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2 Responses to “Dog Warts”

  1. Kathy Malley

    Hi sorry to bother you. My cocker spaniel has been prone to warts for a couple of years now. He has one in the folds of his lip which has got large and he sticks his nail in it and makes it bleed and it becomes smelly. I clean it with an anti bacterial the vet gave me but it’s affecting him now. He’s 10 and generally well otherwise. I don’t really want him having a general anaesthetic but this is what the vets suggested. He very placid and has had other things done under a local. Is it not possible to freeze it or similar. It just need to know our options before I see the vet on Friday. Thank you in advance -Kathy

    • ian stroud

      Dear Kathy,

      Thank you for your great question.

      Although it sounds like a really good idea, to freeze off a wart (an that is what is often done in people) in practice it does not work very well. For some reason, the warts just keep growing and the act of freezing often causes some discomfort and stress. Multiple sessions are needed even for the successful cases. I have not seen your doggie so it is difficult to know exactly how healthy he is but assuming his heart and kidneys are not really struggling then he should be absolutely fine with an anaesthetic. Warts can usually be removed in 5-10 minutes so the anaesthetic need not be long at all.

      Local anaesthetic and removal again sounds like a good thing but again in practice it can cause more problems then it is trying to solve and can be very stressful for him. If the wart is small you might ask your vet about sedating him, using local anaesthetic and removing it that way. I would pick up the phone, call your vet and explain your concerns but I am sure his advice is spot-on and the best for your boy.

      Best wishes



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