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What to do if your old dog has bleeding warts

Golden retriever dog advice

Old dogs are predisposed to warts on the underbelly.

© Pixabay

Some skin lumps in dogs are warts caused by canine papilloma virus. However, there are lots of other types of lump and it is best to get any new ones checked over by a vet. Depending on the type of lump, there are different causes and treatment options.

By Dr Hester Mulhall MA, VetMB, MRCVS

Updated on the 07/08/2020, 16:51

Your dog can get lots of skin lumps and warts. Some of these, such as a papilloma wart, will often resolve by themselves, and this sometimes means they will dry up and fall off. If your dog’s wart is bleeding, follow the advice below and speak to a vet practice.
 

How do you stop a dog wart from bleeding?

If a wart starts bleeding, you should apply pressure for a few minutes or until the bleeding stops. It is best to use something sterile such as a first-aid dressing to avoid introducing any infection. Take care to notice any warning signs from your dog that they are sore or irritable, and do not put yourself at risk of getting a nip from a pooch who's in pain.

Bleeding might occur because your pet has somehow caught the skin lump in something, but it can also be a sign of something untoward or even an infection. As such, you should always take your dog in for a check-up so that the vet can advice whether further testing or treatment is necessary.  

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

What does canine papilloma virus look like?

Canine papilloma virus generally causes warts that look like a small piece of cauliflower. Papillomas of the skin are usually very bumpy in appearance and are often, but not always, found in the mouth or on the face. This is particularly true in younger dogs. However, warts and other skin lumps do not always follow these rules and can vary in appearance. It is always best to get any new lumps checked out by a vet. 

Do canine papilloma warts fall off?

Sometimes warts caused by canine papilloma virus can disappear with time or even dry up and fall off. If you notice a new skin lump on your pet, it is helpful to measure and photograph it weekly so that you can keep track of any changes. You should seek veterinary advice if a lump doesn't go away after a few weeks, changes in appearance at all (colour, size or shape), or bleeds or causes pain, irritation or discomfort to your pet.

How long does it take for a dog wart to fall off?

This varies between individuals. Some papilloma warts will resolve naturally within a couple of months – and so require no treatment – while others take longer. If you are concerned that your dog has had a wart or other skin lump that is not going away then you should speak to a vet.  

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

How do you stop a dog's skin tag from bleeding?

You can stop a skin tag from bleeding by applying pressure with a sterile dressing for a few minutes. Please only do so if your dog will let you, and do not risk getting nipped. If a skin tag is regularly getting caught and bleeding then a vet might advise removing it. Bleeding can also be a sign that the lump is not a simple skin tag, so it is always best to get it checked out.

Why is my dog’s wart bleeding?

Sometimes a wart can bleed if your dog knocks or catches it on something, especially if it is inside the mouth. Bleeding can also occur if your pet is irritated by the wart and scratches or rubs it. If your dog’s wart keeps bleeding, you should book them in for a check-up.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

Do dog papillomas bleed?

Yes, dog papillomas can bleed, particularly if your pet catches them on something. However, bleeding can also be a sign that it might not be a papilloma and so it is best to get veterinary advice, where they can help clear up exactly what the problem is with your pet.

Can I cut off a dog wart?

You should not cut off a dog wart as this would be considered an act of cruelty for which you might be prosecuted. It can cause infection, is likely to be very sore and is unnecessary because most warts will resolve on their own. If they do not resolve, this is an indication that the wart could be a different type of skin lump and needs investigating by a vet. Be aware that under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, it is illegal to treat an animal unless you are qualified (either as a vet, vet nurse or other suitably qualified person).

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

How do you treat canine papilloma?

Most canine papilloma warts will resolve on their own. If they don't, a vet might want to carry out some tests to check that they are a papilloma rather than a different type of skin lump. Testing of can include ‘cytology’, which is when a small needle is used to take a sample of cells that are sent to a lab for testing. This is only effective for certain types of lump, so a biopsy might be required. A biopsy is when part or all of a lump is removed during surgery, usually under anaesthesia, and is sent for testing. A vet will be able to advise you what tests are necessary and what treatment is appropriate.

Does apple cider vinegar remove warts on dogs?

Once you have had a wart checked out by a vet, it is best to leave it alone to resolve naturally. Do not apply home remedies, such as apple cider vinegar. This will cause skin irritation and soreness, which can also lead to an infection and it does not remove warts.  

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

How much does it cost to remove a wart from a dog?

It is best to contact a practice with any queries regarding surgical fees. It might not be necessary to remove a wart from your dog as some types can resolve on their own. Even if the wart does not resolve, surgery might not be required unless the wart is bleeding or bothering your dog in some way. If surgical removal is appropriate, a vet should be able to provide you with an estimate for the cost of removal.