Dogs that lead social lives risk encountering various viruses, bacteria, and parasites more frequently than their anti-social counterparts. This includes going to the dog parks, doggy daycare, boarding facilities, puppy socials, training classes—even the aisles at the local pet store! Just because Fido lounges at home doesn’t mean he is safe from all illnesses, such as puppy warts. This only means that he has a lower probability of exposure.
What Are Puppy Warts?
Puppy warts (Canine Papilloma Virus) are typically benign. They can be compared to chicken pox in humans.Once the dog is exposed to the virus and presents with warts, the dog doesn’t get them again. Don’t worry; you can’t catch puppy warts from your dog!
Commonly the virus appears in dogs less than two years of age because they have a less effective immune system, but older dogs and dogs that haven’t been exposed to the virus can still catch it. It’s commonly thought that the dogs must touch noses or “swap spit” to transfer the virus, so dogs in a social environment are at a higher risk.
What Do the Puppy Warts Look Like?
The most common appearance is inside the mouth. They look like small lumps in between the lips and the gum line (sometimes on the tongue). The lumps look like pale pink raspberries or little pieces of cauliflower heads. The number and size of the warts in the mouth can vary greatly.
The warts themselves aren’t dangerous and 99% of the time they are non-cancerous. Generally warts disappear within six weeks. Most veterinarians will not prescribe antibiotics unless the warts have been present for more than six months and there are a great number of them in the mouth.
What Should I Do If My Dog Has Them?
Most veterinarians won’t prescribe antibiotics unless the warts have been present for more than six months and there are a great number of them in the mouth. You need to decide the best course of action by talking with your veterinarian. Occasionally veterinarians recommend surgical removal when the warts are so numerous that they prevent the dog from eating.
Puppy Warts and Dog Boarding
Each dog boarding facility or daycare will have a different protocol about whether dogs with obvious infection will be allowed. Since the virus is thought to be contagious up to two weeks before an actual wart appears, it’s impossible for your provider to prevent outbreaks. The virus isn’t a serious health risk and many consider it a “puppy illness,” or a right of passage that most pups go through before they reach adulthood (much like chicken pox).
Some pet care providers will dismiss a dog if it has an extremely bad case (numerous warts in and outside the mouth) because this indicates a severely compromised immune system.
Providing Knowledgeable, Professional Care for Pets
Puppy warts and other puppy illnesses can be very concerning for pet parents. At Cozy Canine Camp, we strive to make sure ever pet and owner is as happy and comfortable as possible. At our facility, every canine camper enjoys a variety of amenities during their stay. We also offer other services, including:
- Professional pet grooming
- Cat boarding
- Doggy day care
If you’re looking for a professional facility for all your pet boarding and grooming needs, look no further than Cozy Canine Camp. Our attentive, caring, and professional staff will provide you and your furry companion the best experience possible. For more information, or to schedule your visit, call us at 410-923-2010.