You Make The Diagnosis: Irregular Dermal Masses Found In Young Dogs

Pictured below is the mouth of a young dog who came into the clinic after her family found many growths in her mouth. The masses don’t seem to bother her although I have seen other dogs chew, rub or lick them. Besides the mouth, these kinds of growth may be found on the skin, genitals and paws. Study the picture then answer the following questions: What is the diagnosis? What causes this disease? What is the treatment?

Diagnosis: Viral Papillomatosis (Warts)

Viral papillomatosis or warts are found on the face and mouths of young dogs. The most common cause is canine papilloma virus-1. In older dogs, the warts can occur anywhere on the body. Dogs with immature or compromised immune systems become infected after direct contact (touching the warts) or indirect contact (touching objects that have been contaminated with the virus including bowls, bedding, toys and collars). In most cases, the warts will resolve on their own as the dog’s immune system matures.

For more information on canine viral papillomatosis, please seen my next blog.


-Brooks, Wendy. ‘Viral Papillomas of Dogs’, Published 09/10/2001, Revised: 06/09/2017.

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.