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Papilloma Virus.

Species: Dog
Breed: English Springer Spa
Age: 6-12 months
My seven month old puppy developed papilloma virus warts on his lips and then his tongue at the beginning of September. The ones on his lip, which were quite large, were removed surgically at the end of September when he was neutered. The vet did not want to remove the ones on his tongue surgically. He completed a ten day dose of azithromyacin on October 15. The warts appear to be shrinking and turning a beige/brown. When should the warts disappear? Is he still contagious after they disappear? If so, for how long? Should I throw out or at least wash any toys that he had in his mouth while he had the warts? I don't want him to infect any other puppies. Is it true that he can get these warts again when is older and gets rundown?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. It sounds like your vet is doing all of the same things I would do in a situation like this.

I have found that for most dogs, a 10 day course of azithromycin completely clears up the warts. However, I recently had a dog that was similar to Teskey in that the warts didn't clear up till about a week after the antibiotics were done.

(By the way, just for interests' sake, if you were wondering why azithromycin works for papilloma virus, the thought is that the virus needs a particular type of bacteria in order to thrive. When the antibiotic kills the bacteria then the virus can't function properly and the body is able to take care of the warts.)

What you are describing with the discoloration and shrinking is exactly how they go away. Sometimes they go away so quickly that you don't notice that phase. However, I have had some cases where they do exactly what you have described.

I consider these dogs contagious as long as they still have warts. Once they are totally gone then he is no longer contagious. I wouldn't worry about throwing out his toys. The virus is spread in wet saliva. Once it has dried on a toy it really shouldn't be infective.

Hope all is better soon!

Dr. Marie



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thanks for this. Teskey stopped taking the antiobiotic ten days ago and he still has the worts. We were away this weekend and it looks like he may even have some new ones. They are white, not brown. Can he take another round of antibiotics?

Kathy


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

One of the problems with using azithromycin for papilloma warts is that it's experimental so we don't know what to expect. In my experience one course of treatment almost always works. Your vet may decide to try another course as there is likely no harm in doing so.

Very frustrating!



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.