Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

What’s That? Dog Mouth Warts


What's That Dog Mouth Warts FBIf you send your dog to daycare or you take him to a dog park or you live in the city, sooner or later you’re going to hear about dog mouth warts (canine oral papillomas.) They are wildly contagious between dogs but generally harmless. They can be rather gross but once you wrap your head around that, they are little more than that.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Dogs pass them through direct contact.
  • You can NOT get them (nor can your cat.)
  • They grow mostly on or near mucous membranes – inside the mouth, on the lips and the eye lids.
  • They are small, often pink or gray, cauliflower-ish uglies.
  • Most dogs get one or two, dogs with developing or stressed immune systems may get larger clusters.
  • Pups almost universally get them once exposed.
  • Every so often, very rarely in my experience, they grow in such a way that they require surgical removal as they are interfering with the eyelid or such.
  • Over time your dog will mount an effective immune defense against them.
  • Once they do, normally 6-8 weeks after the warts first appear, the warts fall off. That may take longer and dogs with a suppressed immune-system normally take longer.
  • Yes, fall off. Feel free to shudder slightly as you vacuum your home obsessively for several days.
  • Then your dog will never get them again!
dog immune support

If I know an outbreak is happening, if my pup goes to dog parks or daycares, or if I know he’s been stressed lately, I consider boosting their immune system. This is a product I’ve used through the years. Check with your vet.

Yes, dog mouth warts are a bit disconcerting but they aren’t anything to worry about. They come in waves through a community, like the flu or any other contagious virus.

Focus on the fact that once they go away they stay away and you’ll get through it. As always, discuss all of your dog’s health concerns with your vet. I’m just reporting my experience.


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