Viral Papilloma in Dogs

Overview of Canine Viral Papilloma

Viral papillomas, often referred to as oral papillomatosis, are benign, non-cancerous tumors caused by a virus in dogs and other pets. They generally appear as wart-like or “cauliflower-like” growths around the lips, tongue, and mouth.

Canine viral papillomas are caused by canine oral papillomavirus. Viral papillomas are not related to the nonviral papillomas that are common in geriatric dogs.

Viral papillomas are seen in dogs, generally younger than two years of age. There is no breed or sex predilection. It is not uncommon for the affected individual to be without clinical signs. Depending upon the location of the papillomas, difficulty or discomfort while eating may be apparent.

What to Watch For

Diagnosis of Viral Papilloma in Dogs

Diagnostic testing is generally not necessary in most cases, as the classic appearance of papillomas in a young dog are most often pathognomonic, which means they are very characteristic for a particular disorder. However, in a small percentage of cases, diagnostics are recommended.

Treatment of Viral Papilloma in Dogs

Home Care and Prevention

Maintenance of the environment and nutritional support are important factors in maintaining the health of the patients while awaiting remission of the papilloma. Recovered animals are generally immune and are unlikely to be reinfected with the virus.

Patients who have never been affected should be kept away from animals with papillomas, due to the contagious nature of the disease.