Skin Tags & Warts in Rottweilers

Written by j.d. richards
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Skin Tags & Warts in Rottweilers
Rottweilers thrive on outdoor play, which introduces their skin to all kinds of surfaces. (rottweiler image by Vito Kac from Fotolia.com)

Skin tags and warts are both forms of benign tumours and can appear on humans as well as dogs. Neither poses a serious danger, but in some cases they can cause irritation or discomfort to a dog. Rottweilers are generally robust animals that live long healthy lives, but they are susceptible to skin conditions. Their short, coarse fur allows some contact between their skin and the world outside. Furthermore, as Rottweilers are active, energetic dogs, they rub up against a variety of surfaces during outdoor romps and can develop skin growths.

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Causes

The causes of skin tags are not definitively known. In humans, they often develop in creases and folds of the skin, or where skin rubs against clothing, so researchers theorise that they may result from such minor friction.

Warts, on the other hand, stem from a skin virus. For this reason, they can multiply and spread to other parts of a Rottweiler's body. Regular washing can reduce the likelihood of warts.

Appearance

Skin tags are usually about the size of a grain of rice, and they rise from the skin in a sort of fleshy stalk, called a peduncle. Their surfaces can be either smooth or irregular. A wart resembles a round bump on the skin with a grainy, cauliflower-like surface. If a Rottweiler's owner is concerned that either growth might be cancerous, he can ask his vet to do a biopsy, which involves taking a small cell sample with a needle.

Effects

Skin tags are usually harmless and don't require medical treatment. However, if a Rottweiler scratches at its skin tag often, or if it otherwise seems pained or discomfited by it, the owner may want to have it removed. Skin tags on the mouth are also cause for concern, as they may constitute cancerous growth.

Warts tend to be more irritating than skin tags. They can be itchy or painful to the touch. A Rottweiler who scratches or bites excessively at a wart can rupture the skin and cause it to bleed. At this point, infection is possible.

Treatment of Skin Tags

Since Rottweilers have especially short fur, growths can be more visible or obtrusive on this breed than on others. If a growth is bothering the dog and its owner is concerned that it may be cancerous or finds the growth unsightly, treatment is readily available.

Skin tags are fairly easy to remove. A Rottweiler might even scratch its own skin tag away with minimal pain or bleeding. One common home remedy is to cut the growth off with a sharp, sanitary blade. Another is to knot a piece of thread around the base of the skin tag, cutting off blood to the tissue until it eventually falls off. Otherwise, an over-the-counter solution can freeze the skin tag off, or a veterinarian can remove it.

Treatment of Warts

Warts are a bit more persistent than skin tags, and they may re-emerge after an attempted removal. Like skin tags, they do not always necessitate removal. Sometimes they go away on their own.

At home, a Rottweiler's owner can treat the wart with regular application of Vitamin A, C or E. Castor oil can also be an effective topical treatment. Otherwise, a veterinarian can freeze and excise the wart. If warts are infected or bleeding, they need to be removed surgically.

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