French Bulldog Papilloma – [What To Do About Warts On Dogs]

Canine Papilloma Introduction

My French Bulldog recently came back from dog day care with some odd growths on his face and in his mouth.  If you ever wondered what warts on dogs were called the official name is Papilloma.  The Veterinarian diagnosed that he has a case of French Bulldog Papilloma.  If you would like to learn more about canine papilloma read on.  

What Is French Bulldog Papilloma? (Also Known As Warts On Dogs)

Certain viruses are able to cause the growth of little round benign skin tumors commonly referred to as “dog warts.”  They can be smooth but often have a cauliflower-like appearance too.  These papillomas are caused by the canine papillomavirus.  These papilloma dog warts tend to develop in and around the mouth of your dog and tend to affect younger dogs.  

The onset of these warts can show up suddenly and spread very quickly.  I noticed it on Augie’s gums at first as a small white dot but a week later it developed into a bigger dog wart.  

These dog warts can negatively affect chewing and swallowing.  Depending on where these papillomas appear your Frenchie might even bite them when chewing on his food or a dog toy.  

This can lead to bleeding and might even become infected so it is wise to keep an eye on your French Bulldog. These warts on your dog may go away just as quickly as they appear.  They can last anywhere from four weeks to a few months. 

How Does A Dog Get a Papilloma?  

Papillomas like this are transmitted either by direct contact with another infected dog or indirectly through shared dog toys, dog biting, and direct contact.  I learned through research that the incubation period of the dog papilloma virus can be one to two months. So with this being the case, your dog can become affected and it may not manifest for quite some time.    

The papilloma virus can get into the skin through a cut, a scrape, or even a cut.  When your dog has a visible wart in their mouth be aware that they can be very contagious to other dogs. It is best to isolate them from other dogs during this period of time so as not to spread the virus further.  In dogs, these papilloma warts can even show up elsewhere on your dog’s body.  They most commonly appear in the mouth, on the eyelids, on the legs and even on your French Bulldog’s footpads.

My dog with Papilloma

Are These Warts On Dogs Contagious To Humans And Other Animals? 

Thankfully No.  

The canine papilloma virus is species specific which I was thankful to learn.  I don’t know about you, but when I first saw these growths on my French Bulldog I was concerned that they could be transmitted to our children and to us.  It is important to know that a dog cannot transmit the infection to a human, a cat, or another non-canine animal.  This was reassuring to learn.   

Diagnosis is usually performed by a trained Vet.  A rather quick assessment can verify that your dog has the canine papilloma virus and advise you on how to proceed with it.  They can rather quickly determine that they are in fact papillomas by taking a history, through a physical examination and a biopsy (microscopic examination of the skin tissue). The biopsy or scraping of infected cells is important because some tumors can appear similar to other warts.

How Long Is Canine Papilloma Virus Contagious To Other Dogs? 

The canine papilloma virus (aka warts on dogs) has an incubation period of one to two months.  The virus can ONLY spread to other dogs and is species specific so don’t worry about your dog passing it onto you, your family or other non-dog animals.  The virus is contagious to other dogs when your dog has visible warts in and around their mouth.  While these dog warts are visible you must be aware that they can be very contagious to other dogs. As I mentioned earlier, it is best to isolate them from other dogs during this period of time so as not to spread the virus to other four-legged dog friends. 

How Do Warts Look On A French Bulldog?  

dog warts on a French Bulldog

Above is a photo of a dog wart on my Frenchie that quickly grew from a white spot on his gums to what you see in the photo after just a single week.  Our family was shocked to see how fast these came about on our Frenchie.  After seeing he had three different spots in his mouth we were concerned and sought a professional opinion from our Veterinarian.  She confirmed they were in fact papillomas.  

Soon after we noticed other small papillomas develop as well.  

french bulldog papilloma

Are Dog Warts / Papillomas Dangerous To Your French Bulldog?  

The short answer is “not so much.”  While they certainly don’t look good, they are relatively harmless to your French Bulldog.  They normally go away on their own with time.  If the papillomas are still sticking around after 3 months your Vet may recommend some more advanced treatments.  They may perform a biopsy to confirm that the growth is in fact a viral papilloma and not some other virus.  In severe cases of dog papillomas it can actually negatively affect your French Bulldog’s chewing and swallowing.  This is a more rare situation but if your Frenchie has a lot of papillomas definitely seek the guidance of a trained Veterinarian.  

There are some documented cases where papillomas in your French Bulldog’s mouth can become infected with bacteria. In these cases your Vet may prescribe Antibiotics to help assist your French Bulldog’s recovery.  

How Do You Treat Canine Papillomas On Your French Bulldog?

After talking to my Vet and Googling around the Internet I quickly learned that treatment of canine papillomas isn’t considered really necessary as they will normally go away on their own.  It is usually just a matter of how long your dog will have them for.  For most healthy French Bulldogs they will typically go away on their own in 1-3 months. 

For most dogs no therapy is needed in the majority of cases which was refreshing to learn.  It is worth noting you shouldn’t expose your dog to other dogs while he has papillomas to prevent other from getting it. 

For a French Bulldog that might be immunosuppressed additional treatment may be needed. Oral or topical antiviral medication is usually the first measure followed by more involved measures if that doesn’t prove effective.  Laser surgery or freezing the warts can be a tactic in more severe cases.  In the most severe cases, wart “vaccines” can be a tactic that is employed.

In really extreme cases there may be hundreds of warts on your Frenchie.  In extremely rare cases warts have led to malignant tumors but from my research this is rare.  Once the dog warts do finally go away, the good news is that your dog will be immune to subsequent papilloma infections for life so that was good to learn.  

Conclusion – What To Do About Warts On Dogs

The quick answer is to have your Veterinarian professionally evaluate your French Bulldog and diagnose it.  They may advise you on how to proceed and what to expect but from everything I have seen and read, you will basically have to wait it out.  The good news is that French Bulldog papilloma does go away with time.  Wait it our my Frenchie loving friend and with time your French Bulldog will be back to their adorable selves soon enough.  

Visit this link for more French Bulldog health tips.  You might also be interested in French Bulldog Cherry eye.  

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