Dogs do get warts, but have growths checked

There's money to be made in scooping poop

Marcy, our little puppy has a weird growth on her lip. It looks
like a bump with creases in it. My friend thinks it’s a wart, but I
didn’t think that animals ever got warts. Can they?
Q: Marcy, our little puppy has a weird growth on her lip. It looks like a bump with creases in it. My friend thinks it’s a wart, but I didn’t think that animals ever got warts. Can they?


Dogs can get warts that often show up on their face and lips. These warts are caused by a papilloma virus similar to the one that causes warts on people’s skin. Warts are benign growths that usually disappear once an immune response is developed by the dog. Sometimes this can take more than a few months.

Trouble is, there are a few other skin lumps that look just like a wart. And a few of these can be much more serious. So take Marcy to the vet just to make sure that this is just a benign little wart and not something more serious.


Wallace is our old yellow Lab. He has a bump on his back near his tail. Is this a tumor or an infection? What should we do? We’re worried.


Any lump or bump can potentially be a problem. And there are many parameters that veterinarians consider when deciding if a bumpy swelling is a real health threat or just a cosmetic nuisance. Sometimes, a fine needle aspiration (FNA) gives us the information we need. Here, a tiny hypodermic needle is inserted into the lump and some cells are removed and placed on a microscope slide. The slide is examined under high magnification and in many instances, a diagnosis can be easily made. In more difficult cases, a tissue sample, an actual piece surgically removed from the lump is sent to a pathologist for biopsy.

Wallace’s lump may be a tumor (if so, we hope it’s benign) or an infection. No matter what the case, I think you should take him in for an exam to find out. Hopefully, you’ll get good news and then you won’t have to worry anymore.


Our white cat, Willie, has unique eyes. His left eye is green and his right one is blue. My friend told me that he’s a rare cat and worth a lot of money. But I’m not sure I could sell him to anybody. Is my friend right? If so, how much is a cat like this worth?


In this case, value is strictly in the eyes of the beholder, not Willie’s. I don’t think rare is the right word here because kitty-cats with two different colored eyes aren’t all that unusual.

There are enough others like Willie, so he isn’t really a priceless commodity. He’s a part of your family. Besides, even if someone offered you a lot of cash, would you be able to give him away?

Animals (especially pets) rarely make good investments. So enjoy Willie for what he is – a member of your family, not the proverbial goose’s golden egg.


I was just petting my dog, Ichabod, and noticed the lymph nodes on his back legs seem big (the size of a large flatish grape). I have no idea if this is normal for a dog or if I need to have him checked out (they could have been like this all his life and I just now noticed!). How do I know if these lymph nodes are enlarged and I have to worry?


Try comparing this node to another one you know is normal. In this case, you could check the same lymph nodes on another dog of similar stature (either yours or a friend’s). Healthy nodes should be similar in size. If they differ a lot, either in size or shape, there may be a problem.

And this note reminds me of a good exercise for pet owners. Anyone can do a regular, quick health check at home. It’s easy and you can do this monthly while you watch television or relax in the family room. A routine home-health exam is easy, and it allows people to get to know what’s normal for their pet.

Tune in to our show “Petpourri” at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30 on AM 1080. We’ll be talking all about how you can do a simple home-health exam. You’ll get to know your pet even better, and you’ll be able to pick up on problems earlier if you know how to do a proper exam. It’s fun and it’s easy. So join me on the 30th and we’ll talk about your pet’s health.

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