Viral Warts, Papillomavirus, Immune Function

How do dogs get worms?

Can you recommend a treatment to speed up the recovery from papillomavirus? Our adolescent female was exposed to a dog with the virus and in turn, caught it when her immune system was lowered (she was coming into her first heat cycle–we keep our dogs intact for as long as possible for the health benefits of growth hormones). She’s had 3 warts for two months now and they don’t look like they’re changing/reducing in size.

We neutered our 11 year old male (he’s never been bred) a few days ago because of what seems to be a testicular tumor (awaiting histiopath to confirm). I just noticed a few lumps that look like warts and almost certain he’s caught the virus from our other dog. I would like to provide them with additional support for their immune systems as it seems they’re both weakened.

They are on raw diets with a few additional supplements, minerals, vitamins: digestive enzymes, standard process whole body support, EPA/DHA, chlorella, vitamin d and c, biopreperation algae superfood, agricus blazei mushroom. They have been minimally vaccinated. The adolescent female has only been given a Parvo/Distemper (Nobivac DPV) vax at 9 weeks and 14 weeks, followed by Thuja, and a rabies shot at 8 months followed by thuja and lyssin. Thank you so much for any suggestions you can provide.

~ Mel

Dr Jeff Feinman

Dear Mel,

Fortunately, oral warts in dogs are primarily a cosmetic problem and not a serious health issue. The main exception is when there are so many warts in the mouth that they make eating difficult. Luckily, this doesn’t sound like the case with your pup.

Viral warts are most commonly seen in younger animals. This higher incidence is probably related both to greater viral exposure and an immature immune system. The good news is that repeated natural exposure to infectious agents such as this benign papillomavirus is the best natural way to strengthen it. Measuring antibody titers is one way to quantitate both this exposure and the immune response to it. However, antibody production does not equal immune protection.

Congratulations about keeping your girl intact. Spaying before first estrus (heat) is no longer recommended by many veterinarians. There is mounting evidence and clinical experience that keeping a bitch intact into maturity may reduce degenerative diseases like arthritis. For more information about this, see Dr. Chapman’s excellent reply to Cristina this week. However, you also point out one of the arguments for spaying before the first heat. Although most dogs have no problems going through estrus these hormonal changes can be very stressful to some individuals. This difficulty dealing with hormonal changes may become a key to treatment during homeopathic therapy.

Physical, mental and emotional stressors of any kind are very hard on immune function. Stress increases susceptibility to disease. Estrus may very well have been a stress that predisposed her to the virus. You might think that you will therefore need to spay her as soon as possible to avoid other problems. I’d argue that on the contrary, you need to allow her to go through enough estrus cycles to ensure that she is not having recurrent immune symptoms associated with them. Elimination of disease expression through spaying and other surgical interventions is a deep form of suppression. The symptom is thereby eliminated without addressing the underlying cause.

Physiologically, viral warts usually resolve spontaneously within 5 months no matter what you do. Many simple changes will help her body deal better with the warts and can help speed their natural elimination. Perhaps start a high quality probiotic if you are not already giving one. I use Rx Biotic from Rx Vitamins and Probio Defense from Xymogen (a human supplement company). A methyl donor like dimethylglycine or SAMe would also be helpful. I have no personal experience with the herbal mushroom supplement that you are using. Interestingly, homeopathic remedies derived from the Agaricus mushroom are very useful for other problems. I am not aware of its’ use for oral warts. Herbal mushroom extracts that I use are D-Fraction maitake extract as in Maitake DMG from Vetriscience labs. Liquid Immuno from Rx Vitamins, is also a potent immune stimulator and modulator.

In my opinion, the best way to help speed her recovery is to strengthen her immune system. Fresh food feeding, supplements, vitamins, antioxidants, etc. will all help, but not as much as the needed homeopathic medicine. The best remedy can be determined by evaluating all of her symptoms by the vet homeopath. In young dogs without many problems it is often most important to differentiate her common but abnormal symptoms.

Your older dog may never even get a full-blown case of the warts and if he does, he should recover quickly from them. His more mature immune system is better be able to restore balance. The stress associated with surgery and recovery probably lowered his resistance. Many times an older dog living in the same household as a pup with an infectious disease does not contract the illness.

You can improve your pup’s overall health and resistance to diseases by helping her live close to nature. Continue to feed fresh foods, provide plenty of opportunities for her to play and be outdoors, and minimize exposure to toxins, drugs and vaccines. Maintaining and regaining a healthful energetic equilibrium leads to a stronger immune system. Doing so will help speed recovery from the papilloma virus and help minimize other infectious and degenerative diseases.

Be well.

Dr. Jeff

5 minutes a day. Healthier Dog.

Get important health plans from vets & experts. It’s natural and it’s free.


Get instant access to easy-to-make and affordable recipes. Plus get new recipes delivered right to your inbox.

Recipe Cards for Making Raw Dog Food

Related Posts