Dog Ear Warts

Written by eric feigenbaum
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Dog Ear Warts
Ear warts are no fun for dogs (dog image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com)

Warts are nasty enough, but in your ear? Dogs don't enjoy an ear wart any more than you would. It gets worse. A human can understand what a wart is, and to leave it alone. But our four legged friends just know it's uncomfortable and often react to it like a bug or anything else that annoys its ears. The result is often a scratched up wart.

Luckily, there are things you can do to help your dog.

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Causes

Warts, human and canine, are actually the result of a viral infection. Papilloma virus causes ear warts in dogs. While the nodules the virus causes are completely benign, they are both unpleasant and often uncomfortable. There is no real cure to the Papilloma virus. However, a dog's immune system can ramp up to defeat the virus and end the wart.

As a result, dogs with weakened immune systems are prone to warts. The Papilloma virus is communicable, usually through touch and direct contact.

Puppies

You're most likely to see ear warts on puppies. Their immature immune systems can leave them susceptible to contracting viruses. Luckily, as a puppy grows, his or her immune system usually strengthens and eliminates the virus, and therefore the warts.

Problems

In and of themselves, warts are harmless and usually go away eventually. However, especially with ear warts, an irritated dog may scratch and cause the wart to bleed. This can lead to nasty bleeding and infection. It can also facilitate spread of Papilloma and further warts, not just confined to the ear.

Working With The Immune System

The best cure for ear warts is for the body to do its job. And like with people, bolstering the immune system with vitamins can help get rid of a troubling virus.

You can try applying Vitamin E oil directly on the wart to help promote healing. Vitamin C can also be found in topical form and may be useful. Vitamins A and C can be taken orally. Simply get the vitamins you would for yourself, crush them and mix in with your dog's food.

Castor oil applied to warts can soften the tissue and relieve irritation and itching. Hopefully, this will get your dog to leave the ear wart alone long enough for the wart to heal.

Of course, before trying any of these, be sure to consult your veterinarian on your dog's specific case.

Medical Intervention

Procedures in your veterinarian's office are usually the last resort. Although the interventions are minor, they still involve some level of trauma. And while they get rid of the treated warts, they certainly offer no guarantee that further warts won't develop.

Your vet can use a local anesthetic and remove the wart by surgical excision, electrocautery, or with cryosurgery. They are all essentially the same only one involves cutting, one electrically burns, and the last uses liquid nitrogen to freeze off the wart. All are considered standard, safe outpatient procedures usually done while the dog is awake.

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