Canine Oral Papillomas - PLEASE READ!!!

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Canine Oral Papillomas - PLEASE READ!!!

Postby chelynnah » Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:18 pm

From: WildAbout_Whippets (Original Message) Sent: 22/07/2005 03:52
*Permission granted to crosspost*
Please include a link to this thread so all the photographs can be viewed

Please check out the following links concerning canine oral papillomas (especially if you are not familiar with the virus) and then read my comments below: ... lomas.html

I work for a wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Sue, who seems to have a world of knowledge at her fingertips... and if she doesn't know the answer to a problem, she'll do her best to FIND the answer!

Just this year Dr. Sue has seen more cases of oral papilloma virus than she has seen in her sixteen years of practice. Many of the infected dogs regularly visit the local dog park, but the other half have one thing in common... dog shows! Most of the cases have been mild (less than ten warts) and surgical removal of the warts appears curative. Notice I said "surgical removal". Yes, Dr. Sue believes that anything that is highly contagious and is easily removable... should be removed!!! Only once did surgical removal not appear curative, though it may have been due to the mass numbers of papillomas present and the inability to remove them all at one time.

So why am I spending the time to write this? Because the papillomas talked about in the above listed websites do NOT "act" like the papillomas that Dr. Sue and I have been seeing locally. The recent outbreak in papillomas has been overwhelming and Dr. Sue does not have the answers at her fingertips.... and neither do many of the veterinary specialists she has contacted. The warts seem to pop up overnight and multiply fast. Contrary to popular belief, older dogs seem to be contracting the virus, too. As we have seen, the warts can easily become infected and hinder the dog's health. Swallowing and breathing are difficult in extreme cases and may even lead to death. Yes, I said death.

This is my plea to everyone who takes their whippets to dog parks, dog shows, racing events, lure coursing events, etc... PLEASE be aware that your whippets are at RISK! The oral papilloma virus can live in the environment and is easily transmitted through water bowls, toys, saliva AND through the judges fingers at dog shows! There is NO harm in asking a judge to show your own dog's bite!!! This "outbreak" is certainly not limited to the Indianapolis area as I have been in contact with others across the U.S. and Canada who have dealt with the virus.

This photo says it all...

Here is the simple part: You can help STOP the spread of the virus by routinely checking your whippet's oral cavity. Papillomas love to form on the gums and inside the cheeks first. If you suspect your dog has the oral papilloma virus, see your vet soon. Do not expose your dog to others as the virus is HIGHLY contagious. Please do not try to "wait out" the virus... the results may be devastating. On the other hand, if your dog has the virus do not feel at fault! This virus is spreading like wildfire and can be easily treated when caught in time. I have a feeling the "show dog" world has only seen the tip of the iceberg.

If you have any questions, PLEASE do not hesitate to contact me. I am not an expert, but I have spent endless hours researching the virus.


In loving memory of
Lil Syd
WildAbout Life's Lil Miracle
Sept 30th, 2004 to June 10th, 2005

From: carusowhippet Sent: 22/07/2005 04:12
Annie, thank you for posting this extremely important information. I'm sure this was very hard, but you might save countless dogs by spreading information... instead of disease.
As Co-chair of the Paducah Kennel Club two day shows, I asked all of the judges to request the exhibitors show their dog's bite. They were more than willing to cooperate, but as the days wore on, I could see them forgetting. I will ask a judge to post the link on Judges-L. I hope we can get the word out.
Thank you again, Annie.

From: Tkar4 Sent: 22/07/2005 04:15
Thank you for the information and the links, hopefully this will be able to help us all spot papillomas if we see them.

Trent, Kim, & Mason

From: Sally Sent: 22/07/2005 04:55

Thank you so much for bringing all of this information to our attention, and revealing just how dangerous this terrible virus is.
The "Miracle" litter has brought so many smiles into the world, and the loss of one of those precious puppies is beyond tragic. Li'l Syd has gone from this world, but the miracle is still going on. His story can be a lesson to all dog owners, and the lives of many dogs will be saved.
We won't forget you, Li'l Syd!


From: GreyFind Sent: 22/07/2005 05:07
I never realized oral papillomas could be life threatening. Thank you for posting this, you never know how many lives may be saved by knowing to look out for it.


From: foxlairfox Sent: 22/07/2005 05:30
I haven't ever heard of this nor would I have known about this if it weren't for you.Thank you from the bottom of my heart for posting this.This really frightens me as I'm sure it does others. Janet

From: RouRouxRueRuhe Sent: 22/07/2005 05:50
Oh Annie, Is that what happened to your beautiful lil Syd? I know of this virus in horses and humans but it is hideous in the canine world. Thank you for the post and I am so sorry for your loss of Syd. Julie

From: Beanheads-mom Sent: 22/07/2005 12:12
Thank you for sharing the information. I'm sorry you had to become an expert (no one wants to have to become an expert in these sorts of things).

Do you know if any of the vet schools in the area are trying to study this more virulant form of the virus? Sounds scary and like the virus must have picked up something extra to make it more virulant. I also saw reference to a DNA immunization technique that I imagine is in the lab only....has anyone mentioned to Dr. Sue if a commercial vaccine is on the horizon? (The vaccine sounded like it was protective, but the abstract didn't say for how long).

From: Gracedog01 Sent: 22/07/2005 12:37
Thank you so much Annie for sharing this extremely important information. This is a HORRIBLE virus that can KILL and by sharing this information hopefully you can help prevent another tragedy from happening. People need to be better educated on the dangers of this virus and this is a fantastic starting point!

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

Lisa & Big Syd

From: ottercatgirl Sent: 22/07/2005 13:43
Annie, thank you so much for sharing this valuable information. Hopefully spreading this knowledge will make us all more aware of the potential of this nasty virus.


From: SkWhippets2 Sent: 22/07/2005 16:56
Thank you for educating us Annie!


From: lynallanwhippets Sent: 22/07/2005 17:04
Annie, thanks so much for putting this valuable information together.
We can definitely attest to the fact that this is a nasty virus and spreads like wildfire.
We have had the unfortunate pleasure of having to deal with it here at Lynallan, as it spread through our entire crew, including Ivy and Sweets (our 2 seniors). When we first discovered it, our vet recommended to let the virus runs it's course and to keep our dogs away from others. She said that this virus can be picked up anywhere. It is apparently quite prevalent in coyotes and when their warts fall off onto the ground (literally), any dog can come along and inadvertently pick them up and spread them to others. She also suggested pinching them or crushing them to help speed the process of regression. We were fortunate in that some of our dogs only showed up with one or two papilloma's and the others had 5 or 6. Once the papilloma's appear (which can take anywhere from 1-2 months) the other dogs are highly attracted to them and are constantly trying to lick at the affected dog's mouth.

Our worst case was in our 12 year old Ivy, which appeared overnight and actually doubled in size within a few hours. She had five papilloma's appeared on right side and on her left side a large mass of papilloma's joined together as well as a single one by her canines. I called my vet in hopes to have it surgically removed, but my vet was not willing to put Ivy under anaesthetic, unless it was going to interfere with her eating. Ivy also has issues with allergic reaction to sutures and she did not want to put Ivy through that as well. She recommended a slightly different treatment that she had been trying on other dogs that were coming into her practice with papilloma's. She had me pinch off the smaller papilloma's at the base and remove the root, which we did very easily and with little reaction from Ivy.(although they do bleed like a sieve) Then with the larger one she had me 'mash' it against Ivy's teeth in order to crush it and get it to bleed. It took about two and half weeks before it regressed and fell off in pieces. (it's really quite gross and their breath is horrendous during this time).

If I had to deal with this virus all over again, I would definitely not opt for letting it run it's course even though everything turned out fine for us, surgery is a much more effective and faster treatment, as we now know that it can be much more severe and life threatening.

Sue & Alyssa

From: Darbysmom2 Sent: 22/07/2005 17:22
In my 12 years of practice, I have seen only a few cases of papillomas in dogs. We were able to let these resolve on their own. THIS however, seems like some kind of horrible mutant strain!! Good grief, that picture is horrible, and I hope this doesn't get up here to Michigan! I hope the show judges will be more cautious at dog shows, and that perhaps some closings of dog parks in the areas where this is popping up should be considered. The spread of this needs to halted in any way possible.

Good luck to all, and I hope Dr Sue can find some answers soon.


From: WildAbout_Whippets Sent: 22/07/2005 19:06
Dr. Robert Wiggs (dental specialist at Texas A & M) had this to say about the Canine Papilloma Virus vaccine:

The pre-made wart vaccines we have tried for warts in puppies have poor results. The trouble with the autogenous vaccines is cost and time. It has taken 3-7 weeks for them to get back to us and sometimes the pups are already getting better before we get the vaccine; then the owner doesn't want to pay for it.

Another suggestion:
Remove the papillomas that are causing the problem and leave them in formalin for 24 hours to kill all of the viruses. Then take a portion of these and soak in saline solution for two hours; then rinse in water and soak for two more hours in saline. Chop them up finely. Dry and place into geletin capsules. Give one capsule daily for 7-10 days... or just add a small amount the diet daily. This is supposed to act like an auto vaccine. Response takes 3-6 weeks.

However, surgical removal (preferably by laser) appears to be quick an easy. The strain of papillomas in Indiana seem to multiply overnight and you truly do not have 3-6 weeks to "wait" out the other methods. There are no difinitive answers on why the papillomas are so severe.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this thread. I truly hope no one ever experiences a case of papillomas. Please take the time to share this information with your friends, family and vet.


From: whippetmom Sent: 23/07/2005 00:59
Annie, Although my dogs don't match the criteria, it sounds as if ALL dogs are at risk. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.....Very interesting and scary.

Trish Scanzello (Whippet Mom) & Niven, Nell an Nigel

From: cloudybell Sent: 24/07/2005 03:41
Thank you so much for the info Annie. It must have been a heartbreaking experience to go through. Hopefully through your research and efforts - dogs will be saved from this awful disease. Nadine.

From: chelynnah Sent: 27/11/2005 20:40
The following article was written by Debi Adams for the Whippet Watch Magazine and she emailed it to me and asked me to include on this thread and in the Health Section of the Archives. Many thanks Debi for allowing us to include this information



Oral Papillomas (warts)

General Information: Oral Papillomas are a contagious condition caused by a virus that produces growths or warts in the mouth and or tongue, lips, eyelids, nose and throat. The growths appear about a month after the animal makes contact with the virus. Dogs under four years of age are the most commonly affected.

The warts are pinkish white and generally small to start with but will increase in size and appear in clumps that look cauliflower like in appearance. The larger warts may bleed and the breath of the dog may be very unpleasant. Warts that continue to grow without treatment can, in some cases, affect eating, swallowing and breathing depending on the number and location. It has not been determined whether there is pain associated with the warts, however, the subject dog outlined below did not want his mouth touched and did not wish to eat or play with toys.

The warts are highly contagious to other dogs and it is recommended that you isolate the affected dog. However, the affected dog may have already made contact with other dogs before you see any evidence of warts. It can spread through your entire kennel before you know it.

My personal experience with Oral Papillomas was a learning process that can hopefully help others with this virus. I am not a medical professional but the treatments outlined in this article were prescribed by a variety of veterinary specialists including surgeons, dermatologists and diagnostic clinicians.

Patient: Six month old male whippet – first warts noticed that were very small and white headed. Within two weeks the warts had multiplied and were clumping and affecting all parts of the mouth. It has not been determined whether there is pain associated with the warts, however, this dog did not want his mouth touched and did not wish to eat or play with toys.

Step 1. Veterinarian prescribed anti-biotics for two weeks. No effect whatsoever, warts continued to grow and increase in number. Large warts in clumps protruding from lips.

Step 2. Veterinarian recommended surgical removal of most prominent warts. 35 warts removed under general anesthesia. The dog had dissolving sutures and recovery was about a week.

Two weeks later, warts were reappearing on the area where they were removed previously. They appeared to be coming back with a vengeance. It was the opinion of the surgeon that the surgery stirred up the virus and was making them worse.

Step 3. One month after the surgery, the mouth contained more warts than ever. We began a treatment using Interferon a drug that is designed to boost the bodies immune system and hopefully help fight off the warts. This drug is for human use in cancer patients and runs about $40 per week for a period of one month. At the end of this period, there was no noticeable change in the warts and at this point they were breaking and bleeding when the dog ate, covering the bottom of the tongue, lips and beginning to go into the throat.

Step 4. Finally it was suggested that we have a laser surgeon remove the warts and this was completely successful. The total cost was under $400, which was less than all the previous treatments, medications and surgeries we put this dog through. There was no healing period and to date the warts have not returned and we are going on six months now. This dog has been placed in a pet home and neutered.

Conclusion: Please do not take these warts lightly. You will hear that they will eventually go away. Some do and some do not. Ours did not. They were hampering the dog’s health and quality of life. They are contagious and they do come back under stressful situations. Our research uncovered that the dam of this litter had the warts herself and has given them to two separate litters. The stress of pregnancy and whelping brought them out. This would indicate to me that there are some immune issues at play here. Like herpes in humans, stress can bring on breakouts. This virus is not something you want in your kennel or breeding program, as it does not go away, it merely goes into remission waiting for the opportunity to show up again.


The photos included are of the affected dog prior to laser surgery and after laser surgery. I hope that they will be helpful to anyone that has to take on this virus.

Debi Adams

From: Kirislin1 Sent: 27/11/2005 21:08
This is the stuff of nightmares. Thanks for keeping us all informed though


From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 28/11/2005 03:31
Thank you, Debi Adams, for sharing this important information with all of us.


From: rwesnitzer Sent: 28/11/2005 04:24
First let me say YUUUUUCK! SOme of those pictures are gross!

Second, thank you. Great heads up, especially for newbies like me.

From: smartz74 Sent: 28/11/2005 05:03
Wow, that's really sad. Thank you so much Annie for getting the info out there; I can only imagine how hard it must have been to write the post.

I will definitely be more careful with Luce now.


From: SueHop Sent: 28/11/2005 06:18
I think about this every time I go to a dog show or watch one on TV. All of the shows that Sammi and I attended this spring and fall the judges had the handler show the bite - which I liked. The dog show I watched yesterday on TV the judges were doing it themselves. It makes me cringe a bit.


From: Whippet_Pleaser Sent: 13/08/2007 21:34
I just found this in the archives and thought that I'd bettergive it a bump up.
~Sonya & Lic
(Hopefully, Harry doesn't have it too.)

From: patchnmike Sent: 13/08/2007 22:37
THank you Sonya....I was just going to look for this post to share with a greyhound owner whose dog had some of these(a very few) in his mouth. I want her to take it very seriously. SO thanks again I'll be sending her this info today.

From: greentree66 Sent: 14/08/2007 01:33
Thanks to everyone for all the information. I'm going to print the thread to have on hand.....just in case.

Lois (Dillon's mom)

From: JenzoLuck Sent: 14/08/2007 01:43
OMG! I don't recall ever seeing this thread before....good info to know!! Does anyone know what happened to the poor dog in the original post....the one who had his mouth entirely covered with these things?? Oh boy, was that heartbreaking to see. Could he be helped at that point?? Poor dog.


From: Whippet_Pleaser Sent: 14/08/2007 01:53
I was just noticing that this original thread is now over 2 years old!
I wonder if there are newer remedies or treatments by now?!?

From: hazelsparents_807 Sent: 14/08/2007 01:56
Jen, at the bottom, just above the little guy's picture, it says he passed away on June 10th, 2005.


From: Patience Sent: 14/08/2007 04:16
Sonya, in post #17 of this thread, the successful treatment was laser therapy. And Annie posted some other treatments in message #14. I wonder also if there have been any advances.

From: SkWhippets2 Sent: 14/08/2007 04:19
Thank you for the information Annie.I know how closely this disease has affected you, and I truly appreciate you taking the time to educate owners and potentially save the lives of countless dogs. Thanks again,


From: WildAbout_Whippets Sent: 15/08/2007 01:05
It's been over two years and this thread was really hard to open . Lil Syd was an incredible little pup and his story needed to be told.... and still told to this day... and told again in the future. He was an unfortunate case of vet vs. vet vs. internet information. His owners decided to go with the majority opinion to 'wait it out'.... the wait proved to be deadly.

I have done more research than imaginable on this subject and there is still little known information. The majority of young dogs that are exposed to the papilloma virus will develop warts, but also the majority of dogs will only develop a few warts, and within a couple months be free of the virus. However, the stain that hit the midwest affected old dogs as well as young dogs and grew at an incredible rate.

I still come in contact with the virus occassionally at the animal hospital, but nothing like we saw in 2005. I hope that I never deal with a situation like that again. The way Lil Syd died still eats away at my heart every time I think about him

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