What Are the Treatments for Warts on Dogs?

The formal term for dog warts is canine viral papillomas.

The formal term for dog warts is canine viral papillomas.

Your dog's warts may be unsightly, but that doesn't mean they need to be removed. Canine viral papillomas, the veterinary term for dog warts, generally occur in older dogs. If you decide to remove the warts, try a safe home remedy or ask your vet for advice.

Veterinary Medicines

Almost every dog has been exposed to the canine papilloma virus. While most are harmless, some warts can be precursors of melanoma. Have your vet inspect your dog if the wart continues to grow, turns black or appears on the eyelid. Interferon may be used to treat dogs suffering from severe infestation of the papilloma virus, but this procedure is very expensive and doesn't always work. Your vet may also prescribe azithromycin, an antibiotic sold under the brand name Zithromax. A 10-day course of this antibiotic can cause warts to disappear and stay away for prolonged periods.


Warts resembling cauliflower sometimes appear around the mouths of puppies. Baby animals have weak immune systems and once the immune system matures, these warts generally go away on their own after a few months and no treatment is necessary. If the warts are affecting your puppy's eating or chewing, your vet can remove them by electrocauterization, or burning away the tissue.

Vitamin E

Rubbing warts with Vitamin E is a safe and time-honored treatment for wart removal. Take a 400-international unit Vitamin E gel cap, puncture it and rub it into the wart several times a day until you see results. If the dog can reach the wart and lick off the Vitamin E, it slows wart treatment but won't hurt the pooch.


Your vet may crush multiple warts rather than surgically remove them. This act often stimulates the dog's immune system to speed up the process of wart regression.


If the vet decides the warts require removal, she can excise them surgically via several methods. These include traditional surgical excision or laser ablation, both of which require general anesthesia. Freezing the warts, or cryosurgery, involves only a local anesthetic. The type of surgery also depends on the type and number of warts. Vets usually opt for laser ablation for multiple warts, not a single papilloma.

About the Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

Photo Credits

  • Dog of breed dachshund on a chain as a sentry dog image by Dzmitry Lameika from Fotolia.com