Warts are often associated with old age, they are more common in some dog breeds than in others, and some owners find them disturbing and want to be able to get rid of warts on their dog.
What is a Wart?
A wart will usually appear as a small raised area on a dog's skin. Often the size of the eraser on the end of a pencil often with a cauliflower like texture. They are caused by a virus. When in the mouth the cause is the Canine Oral Papilloma Virus (COPV). Other warts are often called Viral Papilloma.
Warts are more common on poodles, shih tzus, and other dogs that require regular grooming and haircuts.
Some warts are itchy, others may go undetected, hidden under a dog's hair. In some cases a wart can become cancerous, particularly if they are black or start growing and changing in shape.
Some concerns may be related to warts in the mouth, nose, or throat, as a large wart can be an obstruction.
What Causes Warts in Dogs?
Warts are contagious from dog to dog, spread during play or on toys. In homes with multiple dogs COPV is often spread dog to dog when licking each other, or on toys.
The virus can be a problem for any dog but dogs with weaker immune systems are particularly vulnerable which is why warts are more common on senior dogs. They are also somewhat common in puppies who do not have a fully developed immune system and will often go away on their own, although they should be monitored.
How to Get Rid of Warts on a Dog
There are several methods of curing warts on a dog however it is a good idea to speak with your veterinarian first, especially in the case of black warts, or large misshapen warts as they could be cancerous. If obstructing the nose or throat, again, the vet should be contacted.
Normally dog warts are more of a blemish rather than a health concern. The process of healing them naturally can take a few weeks to a few months, but can be done.
Boosting your dog's vitamin C levels can help improve his, or her, immunity.
Vitamin E, from a punctured Vitamin E capsule, can be applied directly to the wart three times a day.
Castor oil applied directly to the wart can be used in the same way.
Natural sunlight and reducing stress may also help.
Improvements to the dog's diet can also help, feeding it a food that is high in Omega acids being one of the best ways to address skin issues through diet.
Note that dogs can also get pimples, pimples may look like warts and are often caused by a dog drinking and/or eating from plastic bowls. Switching to stainless steel or ceramic bowls can help. Dogs with warts should also be using stainless steel or ceramic bowls as they can be disinfected better than plastic bowls.