How can dog warts be removed?
I recently rescued a 10- or 11-year-old female Pekingese the day before her
euthanization. She has several warts on her body, and I wonder if
there is anything topical that we can use to remove them. Can they be
removed any other way? Are they contagious to other pets or humans?
Thank you so much for your help with this.
Raleigh Area, NC
Although the skin growths you describe look like warts, they probably aren't real warts.
True warts in dogs are caused by a virus, and in theory they are contagious. However, in practice they don't spread easily, and they almost always regress (go away) without medical intervention. I usually see true warts on young (less than 18 months old) dogs. They are very unsightly fleshy growths that look a bit like cauliflower stalks. They generally are found on the lips or gums, or rarely elsewhere on the face or body.
In a mature individuals over seven years of age, true warts are very rare. However, skin masses that resemble warts are very common. These masses are similar to moles in people. They may increase in number as an animal ages. And, they are mostly harmless, although they should be monitored carefully. I usually don't recommend removing them unless they are growing or changing rapidly, or unless they are causing other problems (sometimes these masses will become itchy or will bleed). There are no topical products that are likely to cause regression of your dog's masses.
Next time you're at the vet, have him or her assess the growths to ensure that none of them look problematic. If she thinks they're harmless, I would recommend against removing or treating them.