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Clinical management of oral papillomas in a dog.


Warts are caused by papilloma virus and are usually found in puppies or older dogs with an imbalance in their immune system (Delius et al., 1994). These warts look like cauliflower stalks and typically appear along lips or gums (Head et al., 2002). A dog may have a solitary papilloma or may have multiple warts in mouth (hundreds to thousands). These papilloma can be seen on lips, tongue, roof of mouth or inside cheeks. The warts usually disappear after a few months as immune system develops, but they can be contagious and make it difficult for dog to swallow or breathe. Because they are viral, they are transmissible from dog to dog. Dog warts are actually benign and appears as they age, similar to moles appearing in humans. Wart can get infected, though and some can also be cancerous. In histopathology, fibro vascular core is prominent and some large cells in stratum granulosum can display amphophilic intranuclear inclusion body instead of nucleoli (Head et al., 2002)

If a benign wart grows or looks inflamed, surgical removal as required. Cancerous warts are black, quick-growing and inflamed. They generally form around eyelids or lips and should be removed as soon as possible. The present paper reports a case of male Dogue de Bordeaux dog in which hundreds of oral papillomas were tried with surgical and supportive treatment.


A young seven month old Dogue de Bordeaux male dog was presented. On clinical examination, oral papilloma were observed in buccal cavity along with difficulty in mastication as warts were present on tongue and inner side of lips. One bigger wart was also present on medial canthus of eye, was quite irritating and dog was scratching it repeatedly (Fig. 1 and 2). So surgical excision of these warts was planned.


According to Merck Manual (10thEd), surgical removal of one or more of warts may initiate auto regression. So after giving general anesthesia to dog, we simply cut two warts, one wart under cheeks and on medial canthus of eye, along with contaminated tissue using scalpel blade. Minor bleeding was there which was controlled with mild pressure. Wound was cleaned aseptically with Iodine lotion.

After one and a half month, dog was represented with 80-90 papillomas in oral cavity (Fig. 3). Animal was weak, distressed and not taking feed properly for last 10 days. These papillomas also bled sometime during mastication.

Surgical excision of all was not possible. So we decided to try homeopathic treatment. Thuja 200 (10 drops bid) was prescribed for 30 days. After one month, remarkable results were observed with dissolution of all the warts (Fig. 4). Dog was healthy and active with complete recovery.


Viral warts (Verruca vulgaris) are benign growths caused by virus. There are two types of warts commonly seen in dogs. The first type of wart usually occurs in puppies, although seen in middle age and older dogs as well (Head et al., 2002). These warts are caused by canine papilloma virus with an incubation period of 1--2 months. These warts are highly transmissible and require immediate management. They typically occur on mucous membranes and are commonly found on lips, nose and gums of infected dogs. Less commonly, they are found in mucous membranes of anus or genitalia's. The oral mucosa and commissures of lip are most frequently involved, but growths can involve palate and oropharynx. Viral warts are most common in young dogs and appear suddenly with rapid growth and spread. The second type of wart is commonly referred to as the 'old dog wart'. These warts occur anywhere on dog's body except mucous membranes. They are not caused by canine papilloma virus and are non transmissible. These old dogwarts are seen commonly in smaller breeds of dogs esp Poodles, Maltese and Bichons. Viral induced warts that occur on mucous membranes tend to be larger and elevated from surface of skin than old dog warts (Moriello, 2011). Thuja is a homeopathic mecine derived from plants and it is considered safe for dogs (Beoricke, 2008). It is available in both pellet and liquid forms and should be given orally. Vitamin E gel application on warts for 2-3 weeks reduce their size significantly.

Castor oil may also be applied to skin warts to soften them and relieve irritation. Regarding vaccination, the efficacy of autogenous vaccine has always been in question. (Bregman et al., 1987).


Beoricke, William (2008). Pocket manual of homeopathic materia medica and repertory. 643-45.

Bregman, C.L., Hirth, R.S. and Sundberg, J.P. (1987). Cutanoeus neoplasms in dogs associated with canine oral papiloma virus vaccine. Vet. Pathol. 24:477-87.

Delius, H., Van Ranst, M.A., Jenson, A.B., zur Hausen, H, Sundberg, J.P. (1994). Canine oral papillomavirus genomic sequence: a unique 1.5-kb intervening sequence between the [E.sub.2] and [L.sub.2] open reading frames. Virology 204: 447-52.

Head, K.W., Else, R.W., Dubielzig, R.R. (2002). Tumors of the alimentary tract. In: Meuten DJ, editor. Tumors in Domestic Animals. 4th ed. Ames: Iowa State University Press. pp. 422-23.

Merck Veterinary Manual (10th Edition) p. 338-39 Moriello, Karen A. (2011). Small Animal Dermatology. p. 81-82.

Jaskaran Singh (1) and Yogesh Bhardwaj (2)

Veterinary Polyclinic

Deaprtment of Animal Husndry


(1.) Veterinary Gynacologist and Corresponding author

(2.) Rural Veterinary Officer
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Singh, Jaskaran; Bhardwaj, Yogesh
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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