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My dog has a small lump on her head

Dr Pete Wedderburn / 20 November 2018

A reader wants to know whether there are topical treatments for a wart-like lump on her dog's head.



My dog has developed a small lump on her head, it looks like a wart but my vet says he can only rule out anything more serious with a biopsy. Is there a wart treatment I can try first, to see if it makes a difference?


Warts in humans are skin growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Most skin growths in dogs are not caused by a virus. Human home treatments for warts, based on anti-virus medication, will therefore have no effect on most skin lumps on dogs. Most wart-like lumps in dogs are benign skin tumours but a biopsy is important to rule out cancerous causes.

A simple fine needle biopsy can often be done by vets during a consultation, with no need for sedation or anaesthesia. After this, the vet can discuss the best approach (which may be to do nothing: many benign skin lumps in dogs can be left alone, as they are only cosmetic).

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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