Dog Skin Warts

Table of Contents

Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment


"Dog skin warts are benign (non-cancerous) tumors or bumps on a dog's skin. You are most likely to discover a wart on your dog while petting or brushing him. Any time you find an odd lump or bump on your pet, you should have it checked out by your vet. Chances are it is benign, but it could be many things, including a cancerous tumor, and it's always better to be certain."

Symptoms of Dog Skin Warts

Warts are small growths on a dog's skin. They are often cauliflower-shaped. They may be skin-colored or whitish-yellow in color. Warts are caused by a virus called papillomavirus. Because they are caused by a virus, what starts as one wart will often spread and because several warts. They may appear in clusters, or may appear on different parts of the body.

Warts are not painful, but they may be irritating to your pet. Your dog may lick or bite at a wart. In this case, the wart may bleed or become infected. If this happens, he will need treatment for the wart.


Your vet can usually diagnose warts just by looking at them. If there is a question, your vet will perform a biopsy. In this test, a needle is used to remove some cells from the bump to be examined by a pathologist. This will determine the exact nature of the bump and make sure it is not cancer or something more problematic than a wart.

Treatment of Dog Skin Warts

Warts do not always need treatment. If they do not seem to bother the dog, they can be left alone. However, if the pet needs to be anesthetized for some other procedure, vets often recommend removing warts at that time anyway so that they do not become a problem in the future. Sometimes warts will go away on their own.

If warts do seem to bother your pet or if they are irritated, infected, or bleeding, they will need to be removed surgically. This is done under general anesthesia.

Keep an eye on any warts left on your dog. Any sudden changes should be reported to your vet, as these may be signs of cancer or other serious conditions.


Howard A. Mintzer
Mid-Hudson and Arlington Animal Hospitals
New York State
Carter, G.R., Wise, D.J., and Flores, E.F. (Eds), A Concise Review of Veterinary Virology