Health Alert: Oral Warts

I know you have all heard of kennel cough, and you know there is always a risk in group environments such as what we have at Love My Doggy Day Care of your pup contracting kennel cough, just like there is a risk you will catch the flu from a colleague at work this year, even if you’ve been vaccinated. However, there are other, stealthier viruses that lurk in environments like ours. One is called Canine Papilloma Virus, or CPV. This is extremely common in puppies, and also in seniors and other dogs with either not quite fully-developed or otherwise compromised immune systems. It is actually suspected that most dogs get it, but never show symptoms because their immune systems are strong enough to suppress it. This is a contagious virus, and puppies especially are at risk of catching it even in the most sanitary and fully disinfected environments such as what we maintain at Love My Doggy Day Care. The only symptom of CPV is the emergence of oral warts. These will appear as small white masses on the dog’s mouth.

Has there been any cases at Love My Doggy Day Care?
Yes, there have been puppies infected with CPV identified at Love My Doggy Day Care. We do not know if it was caught at a dog park, at a friend’s house, at the vet’s, or from one of our doggy clients – this is impossible to determine. But luckily, our staff of pet professionals is very observant and we have been able to catch these cases and take action immediately.

What do you do if you find it?
If oral warts are discovered on a pup, he or she is segregated from the playgroup due to the contagiousness, and the owners are called immediately and informed that their pup is being isolated until they are able to pick him or her up. All items from the play area the puppy was in, including toys, water bowls, doggy cots, etc, are removed and disinfected.

What if my puppy gets it?
The warts will go away and your pup will be fine. He or she will not feel sick or be bothered by the warts. Typically, once you see one or two, there are more coming, so you will want to look out for additional warts, and be wary of clusters that may require a vet visit. There really aren’t any treatments for the typical manifestation of the virus – you just have to wait for the virus to run its course. The only way to be completely sure that your pup is no longer contagious is to wait until the warts are shed. However, it could take a month or more for total clearance, and in consultation with our vet, we  have determined that waiting that long to return to day care is probably excessive. As per professional veterinarian medical advice, at that point the risk of transmission is very low. At Love My Doggy Day Care, our policy is that you must keep your pup out of day care for a minimum of two weeks from the time the newest wart is observed.  

Please note that if you need help caring for your pup within that period, he or she is still welcome to stay with us – however, your dog will not be re-integrated into playgroup until the minimum timeframe has passed.

What can I do?
Thanks for asking! If you have a young puppy or senior dog, please check your pup for oral warts before coming to day care. We appreciate your help in looking out for the health and wellness of all the wonderful pups in our care.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out at any time with any questions, comments, concern, feedback, or suggestions!

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