Jen recently tried to wipe something off of Bailey’s tongue, thinking it was a piece of paper, or popcorn, sticking to it. Realizing it was a growth of some kind, she frantically texted a photo of it to her vet, then scheduled an appointment for her 14-month-old saint. Turns out, Bailey had a case of canine papilloma virus, or warts. The virus strikes puppies and senior dogs because their immune systems are weak or not fully developed. It spreads through direct contact or sharing items such as toys and water bowls. It looks like cauliflower-shaped growths within or around the mouth of the animal.
According to Vetinfo.com , “If you have a multi-dog household and a dog with warts, you should keep him isolated for 1 to 2 months. However, adult dogs and dogs that have healthy immune systems are very unlikely to get the virus, so you may only keep your pet away from puppies and older dogs to prevent infection. However, the infection cannot be fully controlled, as the incubation period may last up to 2 months and the dog may not present any signs of warts but still be a carrier of the papilloma virus.”
You should check with your vet to get a proper diagnosis, but the good news is that, most often, the problem resolves itself in a few months. If the growths are interfering with eating or swallowing, there could be a surgical option.
If you have a young dog, ask your vet about the papilloma virus, or you may want to check out Vetinfo.com or http://www.webvet.com/main/2008/06/06/papillomas-dogs.