How to Get Rid of Dog Warts Naturally

Most dog owners get traumatized when they notice little pink modules bud out of their puppy’s mouth. I must admit at this point that I once panicked when my adorable Bobby developed warts some years back. If your furry friend comes down with warts, the first course of action is to learn how to get rid of dog warts, possibly the natural way. But before I delve deeper into the details, let’s look at some causes of dog warts and how dogs get them in the first place.

What Causes Dog Warts?

If you’re just dipping your feet in the adorable pool of dog rearing, you’re probably asking: what are dog warts, and how to get rid of dog warts? Warts are tiny, rough, pinkish modules that sprout out of dogs’ lips, mouth, and sometimes on their eyelids or other parts of the face.  The most prevalent type of dog warts is caused by canine papilloma virus–1 (CPV–1). More often, dogs under the age of two years are more susceptible to warts. The condition is referred to as viral papillomatosis.

Most dog warts are smaller than half an inch in diameter and form a rough surface, just like a human wart. Sometimes they elongate with a narrow base of attachment. You will rarely find a dog with a single wart, so if you notice only one, look out for more.

CPV–1 virus is contagious, meaning that your dog can get warts when they get into contact with infected dogs, or even objects they scratch on. To become infectious, the virus must come into contact with the abnormal or traumatized skin, and the incubation period is about 1 to 2 months. So, be sure to keep your dog off daycare, dog parks, or boarding until the warts have gone for at least a few weeks.

A recent report on a warts outbreak in a dog daycare facility indicated that 13 in 52 dogs contracted the virus through close proximity. An even more interesting aspect of the report is that no conclusive evidence proves that dogs need visible warts to be infectious.

Expert Tip

Dog warts (viral papillomas) only spread among animals of the same species (dogs). It is not zoonotic, so it’s not communicable to humans. Dog warts can only spread to other canines and not to other animals like pigs, sheep, etc.

With that said, always consult your veterinarian if your dog’s warts occasionally cause problems with chewing or swallowing or when they last for more than three months.

How to get rid of dog warts will depend on several factors. But first, let us now look at some common diseases that are often confused with warts:

Sebaceous Gland Adenomas

Older dogs aged over five years are prone to developing wart-like skin masses that vary in size from quarter to one inch. These masses can appear on any part of their bodies, and many dog owners often confuse them for warts. In fact, some call them “old dog warts.” But the truth is, these are not warts but non-cancerous (benign) tumors of the skin’s oil glands. They are medically referred to as sebaceous gland adenoma. To the regular dog owner, they appear like warts, but they are often not as rough on the surface. Whenever the symptoms are confusing, always consult with your vet to determine if the masses are viral papillomas (warts) or sebaceous gland adenomas.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

These are tumors related to sunlight, so they often appear in skin areas with less pigmentation, including your dog’s abdomen, nose, or scrotum. Some types of squamous cell carcinoma adopt the cauliflower appearance of warts, but they are not warts. Affected dogs often lick the affected areas excessively. But note that dogs will often lick any irritating skin areas, so licking does not amount to the presence of cancerous growths. Squamous cell carcinoma is a malignant tumor that affects other surrounding areas and can even spread to the lymph nodes and/or lungs.

How to get rid of dog warts will depend on several factors. But first, let us now look at some common diseases that are often confused with warts:

Transmissible Venereal Diseases

In many occasions, dogs infested with venereal diseases can have warts on the genitals. This condition affects both female and male dogs. During mating, cells of this infectious disease can be transferred from one canine to another. Additionally, they can be transferred through licking, scratching, or biting. If not handled on time, these growths can escalate into canine transmissible venereal tumor (CTVT).

Venereal warts may appear on the vulva or vagina of female dogs and the penis of male dogs. But for both sexes, warts may appear on the mouth, face, nose, limbs, etc. Though not common, transmissible venereal diseases can be spread by metastasis.

Canine Oral Papillomatosis

When papillomavirus affects your dog’s mouth, it is referred to as canine oral papillomatosis. It’s often associated with the appearance of cauliflower-shaped warts on the inside of the mouth. This condition is common in young dogs aged 2 years and below. As they start off, the swellings are pink colored protuberances, but as they develop, they increase in size and turn into a grayish color. Eventually, they fall off and diminish.

The canine oral papillomavirus may also result in legions and warts on other parts of the dog’s skin. As dogs intensely lick their feet and paws, the condition affects these areas, especially on older dogs.

How to Get Rid of Dog Warts

Since warts are viral, there are not many proven treatment options. More often, dog warts go away in one to three months without any treatment. But if you’re looking for tips on how to remove warts on dogs, I will cover some home remedies that have actually worked for me. Vets may treat dog warts if they persist past three months or when your dog has an untreatable immunosuppressive disease. If your dog is on immunosuppressive drugs, you may need to seek the help of a veterinarian.

Some treatment options your veterinarian can consider include:

  • Interferon alpha is a drug composed of chemicals derived from white blood cells. It works by stimulating the immune system of your dog, which can help the dog to overcome viral warts.
  • Imiquimod is an immune response modifier that may help speed the regression of some dog warts types.
  • Azithromycin is just an antibiotic, and some people reported positive results in treating papillomatosis in dogs. However, studies have not cleared it as an effective treatment.
  • Cimetidine is an antacid commonly used to treat warts in humans. No studies have proved its effectiveness in treating dog warts.
  • Surgical removal, cryotherapy, and laser treatment are other options to consider if the warts are causing serious problems for your dog or when the symptoms are not regressing after several months.
  • Crushing viral warts is an option that some vets use to induce your dog’s immune system and clear the virus. Don’t try this on your own as it can cause a lot of discomfort for the dog.

How to Get Rid of Dog Warts Using Home Remedies

As you’ve already known, there are no proven natural remedies that will get rid of warts on dogs. Luckily, there are a number of home remedies you can use to improve the immune system of your furry friend and help them heal faster. So, the focus is to boost your dog’s immunity and let their body eliminate the virus naturally.

1. Cell Advance Supplements

Nutrition Strength is an effective anti-oxidant supplement formulated to take the burden off your dog’s immune system and help them effectively fight the virus causing warts.

2. CAS Options

Mushroom Max is another medicinal mushroom supplement that can help dogs to eliminate warts. Medicinal mushrooms comprise of beta-glucans that exhibit anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties. This supplement may help stimulate your dog’s immune system to fight viral papillomas.

3. Application of Vitamin E

Vitamin E is very effective in your dog’s healing process. You simply puncture a Vitamin E capsule and apply the content directly on warts. Apply twice every day for two to three weeks until the warts have fully cleared.

4. Homeopathic Therapy

You can also use a homeopathic remedy known as Thuja to treat dog warts. However, you need to have your vet diagnose the papilloma to ensure it’s not a tumor or other wart-like conditions we discussed before. Apply Thuja essential oil directly on the warts at least twice daily. Be sure to consult your vet before you commence the treatment! Repeat the process daily for up to one week.

The efficacy of these natural wart remedies varies depending on the immune system of your dog. But, many dog owners have reported the effectiveness of these methods in reducing the size of warts and completely eliminating warts in just a few weeks. Moreover, the results may not be permanent, especially on old dogs that often develop new papillomas as they age.

How to get rid of dog warts the Surgical way

When dog warts persist past three months, it could be time to see a veterinarian. Depending on the severity of the papillomas, one alternative your vet could recommend is a surgical procedure. Surgical warts removal is a great way to negate the risks of tumors. However, it’s important to note that surgical warts removal can be costly and comes with the risks associated with any kind of surgery. In my opinion, this should be a last resort when other remedies seem not to work.

Final Thoughts

Warts are viral infections that often go away on their own after a few weeks. So, when you notice your furry friend has a few pink modules on the moth or face, you shouldn’t freak out. Just have your vet diagnose the condition to rule out the possibility of growth. Afterward, use the natural remedies I have discussed here to speed up the recovery.

Additionally, feed your dog on a healthy diet to boost their immune system and help them fight off the infection naturally. Avoid overuse of steroids and keep your dog away from crowded dog parks and shows to prevent warts infestation. Some progress has been made to produce papilloma virus vaccines, and I will keep tabs on any future updates. You could also be interested in how to get rid of scabs on dogs. Read it right HERE!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I burn off a dog’s wart?

No. Don’t try burning dog warts at home. Even if your vet has accurately diagnosed the growth to be genuine warts, burning them off can cause detrimental consequences. Burning off warts could cause further problems to a malignant condition. Only qualified vets should diagnose warts and recommend the right course of treatment. Mostly, vets recommend natural remedies like the application of vitamin E or Thuja pallets, but for serious cases, a surgical procedure can be recommended.

Can you remove a wart from a dog?

Only a qualified vet should remove warts from your dog. Some common removal procedure includes electrocautery (burning), sharp resection (cutting), or cryotherapy (freezing). In some cases, removing a single wart can cause others to fade away naturally.

How do dogs get warts?

Warts in dogs are caused by a viral infection (papillomavirus). Once your dog suffers and recovers from one type of warts, it becomes immune to that particular strain and not to others. Dogs catch warts through a break or weakness in the skin. Since dog warts are contagious, your dog can grab the infection from other dogs that have the virus.

Does apple cider vinegar remove warts on dogs?

Many dog owners have used apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for warts, and the results have been impressive. Vinegar works by burning and slowly destroying the infected skin, causing warts to fall off. Just like salicylic acid, apple cider vinegar causes irritation on the skin and stimulates your dog’s immune system’s ability to fight off the virus causing warts.

Are warts on dogs dangerous?

Generally, dog warts are not dangerous, but you need to reach the right diagnosis with your vet. What looks like warts could actually be a more lethal skin condition. Some wart types may also cause pain and infect the skin, which may require medical treatment.

Why do dogs get warts when they get old?

The papilloma virus that causes warts tends to be prevalent on older dogs for an obvious reason – lowered immunity. Immune-suppressed dogs and older dogs will grow warts periodically, and even after treatment, warts can reoccur.

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