Warts are also known as papillomas because they are caused by papilloma viruses. Warts are much more common on dogs than cats, and are not zoonotic. This means the dog papilloma virus is contagious to other dogs, but not to people. Likewise, your dog can’t catch people warts.

There are two main types of warts that dogs get. Both are related to your dog’s immune system and overall health. Veterinarians who study this field repeatedly come to the conclusion that warts are often a response to vaccinosis, which is a condition of weakened immune health from being vaccinated too often. Read the Overview and Viral Infections sections for more information. You should also read the Diet section as proper nutrition plays a critical role in your pet’s overall health. A natural, well-balanced, raw diet is the best thing you can do to promote a strong immune system in your dog or cat.

The first type of wart occurs in dogs ranging from about six months to four years old. These masses often have a cauliflower-like appearance and begin as small, smooth pale nodules. They are often on the face, particularly around the mouth. These papillomas may progress to darker, pedunculated masses with frond-like projections.

The second type of wart occurs in older dogs. These warts can appear anywhere on the body, and are commonly found around the toes and footpads. In most of these cases, older dogs affected by papillomas have a weakened immune system. As described above, this is often due to over-vaccination, but it can also be from repeated steroid treatments or improper nutrition.

While canine papillomas are usually harmless, they can bleed and become infected if scratched or chewed. They can also be a problem for dogs who get groomed regularly, such as Cocker Spaniels, as the clippers will keep nicking the bumps.

Warts can start and stay small, or they can grow larger over time. Papillomas generally do not need to be treated for medical reasons, although they can be removed surgically, if need be. If the underlying condition has not changed, however, the warts may keep coming back. Canine papillomas often go away on their own as a dog’s immune system grows and strengthens.

Most warts are benign (non-cancerous), but occasionally they can malignantly transform to squamous cell carcinoma, a type of cancer. Have warts checked by a holistic veterinarian to rule out cancer, particularly if they are dark in color. Always keep an eye on any lumps on your pet and watch for growth or a change in a color.

Herbal and Naturopathic Help

First off, you should work at strengthening your pet’s immune system. There are tips throughout this website. Pay particular attention to sections on diet, infections, overview, and viral infections. People don’t often realize that warts are best treated systemically because the problem appears to be local.

Topically, vitamin E can help if applied frequently, consistently, and persistently for a significant amount of time. This isn’t a fast cure, and it probably won’t make the warts disappear, but it can diminish them. You can make a convenient ampule by puncturing a vitamin E capsule with a pin.


Thuya 30c  is often the first homeopathic treatment chosen by holistic veterinarians treating a case of warts. Thuya  is known as the vaccine reaction remedy. Give one treatment one time, and then wait a month.

After the initial Thuya treatment and the month’s wait, if the warts bleed easily, give one treatment one time of Causticum 30c.  Or, if the warts are large, give one treatment of Silicea 30c.  There are other homeopathic treatments that an experienced practitioner may guide you through. Different cases may require different treatments because the practitioner will be trying to get to the root of the problem. In any case, resolution will not be speedy.

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