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Papillomatosis

Something odd was found on Cedar’s tongue the other morning. At first it looked like a piece of food then maybe a bit of bone.

Cedar is a 6 month old, very excitable red cattle dog. He was brought in to Pittwater Animal Hospital to have his tongue examined. A difficult task!

Cedar jumped around the consultation room and any attempt to open his mouth became a wrestle. After calming down, Cedar relaxed on the examination table and out popped his tongue.

If you look carefully, Cedar has a warty growth on his tongue. The most likely cause of this is the papilloma virus or the wart virus. (This virus is canine only and can not be spread to humans.) Papillomatosis is a contagious infection which causes warty growths on the skin or mucous membranes around the mouth and eyes.

The virus usually (but not always) affects dogs under 2 years. It is spread on surfaces to broken skin. The growths can take 1-2 months to develop after exposure.

Most lesions will regress and disappear within 3 months.

The only way to know 100% that a lump like this is a papilloma, is by removing the lump and sending it to the lab for analysis. This would require a general anesthetic and minor surgery.

What to do?

For now we are going to observe the lesion carefully over the next few months.

Hopefully one day Cedar will give come and greet us and the lump will have regressed, leaving a perfectly beautiful, pink, wet tongue.

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