Can warts on dogs be cancerous?

Sometimes dog warts are so numerous, large, or located in places that result in secondary symptoms like lameness, difficulty eating or drinking, or eye irritation. Warts may bleed or become infected with bacteria. In rare cases, warts that fail to resolve on their own can turn into cancerous tumors.

Dog warts are small lumps that can appear alone or in groups and may go away in a few months. They are occasionally cancerous but are most often benign.

Warts can appear as a single small lump, a group or cluster of small lumps that resemble a few cauliflower florets, or both.

While puppies are more likely to develop multiple groupings of warts than older dogs, either variety of wart (papilloma) can appear on a dog of any age.

Benign warts typically don’t require treatment unless they become infected, obstructive, or irritated. Warts may become irritated if dogs lick or scratch them. Contact with collars or harnesses can also cause other harm.

Naturally, you should have your senior dog’s new growths, lumps, or bumps examined by a veterinarian to make sure there is nothing to be concerned about.

The following images demonstrate the effects of treatment on a large wart on a dog’s muzzle:

Should You Remove Your Dog’s Warts?

While not all warts will require removal, your veterinarian may advise surgery for some of them. In the end, it comes down to their assessment of the wart, including its size, location, and whether or not it is bothering the animal.

Warts can appear anywhere on your dog’s body, and some may cause your dog more discomfort than others. Papillomas are caused by a virus and can come in multiples or just one. All cases are different, but they can usually be treated. Some might not be a bother to your dog, and therefore, a vet might not recommend removing them.

If your veterinarian observes a suspicious-appearing wart, they might advise having it removed. The wart could be removed with a scalpel or frozen off with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery), among other options.

Vets will discuss the best options for your dog with you and offer surgery to remove warts or liquid nitrogen freezing.

Several different factors determine how much it will cost to remove warts. Each veterinarian’s office will charge a different fee depending on the size of the facility, the quantity and size of the warts, and the type of anesthesia required. Your veterinarian may charge you a flat rate or a fee for each lesion. Your veterinarian’s office will go over all of your options with you before you make any choice.

Typically, people may spend between $150 and $1,000 to have the warts on their dog removed. The total cost of the visit might be more expensive if you want to remove multiple warts from your dog rather than just one than if you only want to have one removed. Although there may be payment plans available to you to make expenses more manageable for your budget, it can never hurt to have a pet emergency fund.

How are papillomas diagnosed?

The majority of papillomas look the same, but some of the more prevalent sebaceous tumors in dogs have a very similar appearance. Your veterinarian may perform a fine needle aspiration (FNA) to get a conclusive diagnosis. FNA entails using a tiny needle and syringe to collect a sample of cells from the tumor and placing them directly on a microscope slide. A veterinary pathologist then examines the slide under a microscope.

In some instances, FNA results might not be completely clear, in which case a biopsy might be required. A piece of the tumor is surgically removed during a biopsy. Papillomas, which typically have a small size, may require the removal of the entire tumor. A veterinary pathologist then looks at the tumor tissue under a microscope. This is called histopathology.

Papillomas in healthy animals do not spread to other parts of the body and are typically treated surgically. Rarely, a tumor will regrow after surgery. Additional papillomas may form if the viral infection persists as a result of a compromised immune system.

What is a papilloma of the skin?

Papillomas are benign, sometimes multiple, tumors caused by viruses. They are commonly known as warts. The tumors frequently go away on their own because the animal gradually develops an immunity to them. Some papillomas may require surgical removal if they become inflamed, infected, or if they do not go away on their own with time.

Papillomas are uncommon in cats but common in dogs.

The papilloma virus enters the cells of the dog or cat (the host), inserts its genetic material into the DNA of the host cells, and disrupts the normal processes of cell division, causing the cell to divide abnormally and more frequently. The virus alters the genes that control normal, programmed cell death and activates growth-promoting genes in the DNA known as oncogenes while inactivating suppressor genes that would normally limit cell proliferation.

Papilloma viruses come in a variety of varieties and affect all species of animals, including humans. Every animal species has its own viruses and tumors that are related to them. The plantar warts on human feet are among the most well-known warts.


How can you tell if a wart on a dog is cancerous?

Cancerous warts will look pretty different from normal warts. They might be large and abnormal in shape.

Cancerous Warts
  • Lumps that grow faster than others.
  • Lumps that do not go away.
  • Lumps that change color or texture.
  • Lumps that are abnormally shaped.

Why is my dog developing warts?

Canine papillomas, also known as warts, are brought on by specific virus types. When a dog comes into contact with another infected dog, they become infected. Because the canine papilloma virus can survive for a long time in the environment, it can spread to items like bedding and toys.

What do cancerous growths on dogs look like?

Malignant melanomas appear as raised, frequently ulcerated lumps that can also be gray or pink in color in the mouth. On the other hand, malignant melanomas that develop in the nail bed cause the underlying bone to deteriorate and cause toe swelling as well as perhaps even the loss of the toenail itself.

What does warts look like on a dog?

Warts are typically found around the mouth, nose, or eyes in dogs, but they can also appear on the footpads, legs, or groin region. When they first appear, they are a rough patch of pink to white skin, but as they grow, they may turn darker and lumpier, like cauliflower.