So you are fiddling around near your dog’s mouth and notice a large bump or bumps. Not just any bump, but a cauliflower looking cluster. What the hell is THAT?!?! Oh it’s the Canine Papilloma Virus. Of course anything with the word “virus” in it makes our hair stand up, but believe me when I say, this virus is quite lackluster. This warty virus is found on the muzzle or lips. Dogs between 0-2 years of age are most susceptible. Why? Because they are babies and their immunity is not built up fully (I am telling you, dogs are not that far removed from human children). Your pup can only be infected if your pup is “kissing” a contracted pup. The symptoms may take up to 2 months to show up so by the time you see the warts, you have no idea who your pup was making out with (not that it matters anyway).
Once you see the warts, you will not want your dog kissing any other pups because now your dog is a carrier. This does not mean you can not take your dog anywhere, it just means don’t let your dog be in contact with other dogs. In my classes, an infected dog may come to class. The other students are informed your dog has CPV and class goes on as usual. However, it is always a good idea to ask your instructor what their rules are about infected dogs joining class.
The GOOD NEWS about CPV is that it is not contagious to anything except for dogs and it usually it goes away on its own. If your dog stops eating, then get your tush-tush into the vet. This is not common, but it can happen. The DOWNSIDE is that it can take 1-5 months for your dog to kick the virus. However, once your pup has been a carrier, the chances of your pup getting the virus again are quite low. Of course it’s not iron clad, but since your pup has had it, it has built up some immunity to it now making contracting it again far less likely. So it short, it looks icky and can be annoying, but it is not a big threat and frankly blasé.