Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of Canine Oral Papilloma Virus

For any pet parent, even a tiny rash on their pet’s body can worry them. Lumps and bumps can appear on a dog’s body due to a variety of reasons. However, if the swelling is on a puppy’s lip area, you should bring them to animal hospital Virginia Beach to rule out the possibility of canine oral papilloma virus. So, what is this canine oral papilloma virus or COPV? And why should pet parents know about it?

Canine Oral Papilloma Virus

Canine oral papillomas are warts that form on the mouth region of young dogs and puppies. An infected puppy may have a single or cluster of warts on their lips, the roof of the mouth, the underside of the cheeks, or tongue. The virus is highly contagious and can transmit from one dog to another. Canine oral papillomas are common in puppies and rare in senior dogs. The virus can infect a dog whose immune system is underdeveloped or compromised. 

Warts formed due to COPV are benign, but it does look ugly. So, how to differentiate a COPV wart from a tumor? There are some distinct characteristics of COPV warts. 

  • The COPV wart has a greyish or whitish surface, which is often crusty. 
  • Warts look similar to cauliflower.
  • The wart may be a stand-alone bump or form a cluster of multiple warts.
  • COPV warts mostly appear on the mouth region, eyelids, throats, nose, or genital area. 

How do dogs get infected with the canine oral papilloma virus?

Canine oral papilloma virus is highly contagious, and it can directly spread from one dog to another through contact with the infected dog or contaminated objects. A healthy dog can catch the COPV if they get bitten or scratched by an infected dog. The virus can also travel from an infected dog to a healthy dog through a mucous membrane. If a dog is infected by COPV, the pet parent should keep their dog’s items like toys, bowls, sleeping beds clean. COPV is a social disease and is often present in areas where dogs interact, like dog daycare centers, dog parks, etc. 

Since COPV is contagious, pet parents may wonder if all dogs are susceptible to contracting this virus. The truth is, COPV is common is seen in young puppies with an underdeveloped immune system and senior dogs with compromised immune responses. Dogs that are on immunosuppressive drugs may also catch this virus. 

How is COPV Diagnosed and Treated?

If you notice any wart-like growth on your pet, you should bring them to pet hospital Virginia Beach for medical diagnosis. Upon tests, the vet can determine whether the growth is a COPV wart or something else. If there is a sign of infection in warts, the vet may prescribe antibiotics besides other medications. 

Sometimes, physical observations alone cannot help the vet determine COPV warts. Although warts are benign, they can turn infectious and become painful to deal with. If a wart is taking too long to heal or appearing suspicious, your vet may consider a biopsy to investigate the condition further. The vet may also recommend surgical removal of warts if they are on bothersome areas on the dog. …