Puppy warts also know as (Canine Papilloma Virus) are typically benign. They can be compared to chicken pox in humans. Generally, once the dog is exposed to the virus and presents with warts, the dog does not get them again. You can not catch puppy warts from your dog!
Commonly the virus is found in dogs less than two years of age because they have a less effective immune system, but older dogs and dogs that have not been exposed to the virus can still catch it. Dogs can spread the virus by direct contact, eating or drinking from the same bowl, or sharing toys.
They typically show up on the lips, tongue, roof of the mouth, or inside the cheeks. A dog may have a solitary papilloma or may have multiple warts in the mouth (hundreds to thousands).
Papilloma Warts in dogs have an irregular, cauliflower appearance, with most falling into a size range of 1 – 5 mm. They do not cause pain, unless one or more become infected from trauma and/or bacteria in the mouth. The papilloma Warts themselves do not pose any
significant danger to the infected dog. As the canine patient’s immune system matures and mounts a meaningful defense against the Papilloma Virus, the warts will typically go away on their own in 1-5 months.
In the vast majority of cases, treatment is not necessary, but in the rare cases of Papilloma Warts that persist for longer than 5 months, or the number of warts are so severe that the dog has problems eating, then the warts can be surgically removed of frozen off cryogenically, which has been known to speed up the rate at which the canine immune system clears the warts.
The infection is transmitted via contact with the Papillomas on an infected dog and it takes about 1 to 2 months for them to appear.
Occasionally, oral papillomas can become infected with bacteria. Antibiotics will be needed in these cases to control the pain, swelling, and bad breath.