Definition of Warts
Warts, also called papillomas or fibropapillomas, are species-specific, benign, painless skin growths caused by papilloma viruses. Warts in dogs often develop on or around the eyes, eyelids, gums, feet, footpads and external genitalia. Papilloma viruses are extremely contagious between dogs. Fortunately, they aren’t contagious between dogs and people. Why some dogs develop warts while others don’t is probably affected by the strength, weakness, maturity or immaturity of a dog’s immune system. Warts that grow in a dog’s mouth can cause discomfort, drooling, bad breath and interfere with a dog’s ability to grab, chew and swallow normally. Warts on the skin often show up on the lower legs and feet, especially on the footpads and between the toes. These can be annoying to the dog and cause it to lick and chew at the affected area, which can lead to bleeding, pain and lameness and set the stage for skin infections.