White Bump on Dog’s Lips

Many dogs in their younger age are prone to Canine Oral Papillomavirus (COPV), which in layman terms is white bumps forming on the top lip of your dog. These ‘warts’ can be described as small tumor formation caused by papillomavirus and aside from lips can also be found inside the mouth or cheek, or even throat at times. After completing you should know what to do about white bump on dog’s lips.

This article has all the information you need to know about these warts.


Papillomas are lumps that are caused by a virus that usually takes its time to make itself physically visible on the dog’s body. Your dog would have been affected by papillomavirus in the past month or two before you can visibly see white bumps on its lip. It can take 1 to 3 months to notice bump formation in your dog’s lip.

These lumps may form in a group of multiple warts or individually, from 10s to 100s in a small area on or under the lip or in the mouth. These look very similar to a human wart, so you can recognize them easily when you examine your dog.

Some signs your dog might have papillomavirus could be whimpering with pain, swelling around the mouth and lip area, difficulty in chewing (if the papilloma are big), and constant bad breath is also a symptom that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Papillomavirus most strongly attacks younger dogs as well as dogs with a weak immune system. Therefore, if you have a puppy, keep a regular check for these warts as they may not show very clear symptoms of being affected.


Papillomas can be different for each dog, some may get them healed naturally while many may have to get them healed with medical help. Here are the most common ways dogs have their white bumps healed:

Natural Healing:

Papillomas, in most cases, heal all by themselves over 2-6 months, depending on your dog’s immune system. If the immune system is a bit weak then antibody production can be slow, making the defense mechanism taking around 4 to 7 months to fully eradicate this virus from the body. You should keep a regular check on them during these months, making sure the dog is not having painful symptoms that may require a vet’s attention.

The best part is that when the immune system fights off papillomavirus by itself, your dog will become immune to any future infections from this virus.


Recently, a new medication is being prescribed to patients of papillomavirus, dogs and even humans called imiquimod. This helps alleviate pain and boost immunity so the virus can be defeated as soon as possible. Side-effects such as slight itchiness have been noticed in many puppies, but it has been known to prove that the ointment is doing its job well.


However, if the warts are not able to heal naturally then your vet may recommend removing them through different methods. After a thorough check-up and looking at the intensity of the papilloma, your vet may prescribe your dog certain antibiotics that need to be completed over weeks.

Azithromycin is an example of an antibiotic that is being given to animals facing papilloma. It reported no side effects and complete extermination of the virus. Plus, it is cost-friendly as well, so many pet owners opt for this option as well.

Sedation and Pressure:

Sedation and pressure are other methods, where your dog will be given anesthesia while being held firmly, then the pressure will be put on the lumps to make them smaller. This stimulates the healing process and makes the job easier if the dog’s immune system is weaker. It is usually done to take care of bigger warts where there are no signs of healing even after months of diagnosis.

Interferon treatment method:

Another method is to use surgical methods like Interferon treatment if the situation demands it. This method can be quite costly and requires injecting medication in the dog or puppy’s body and then waiting for a few months till warts have completely healed.

Causes of papillomavirus in dogs

If we talk about the causes of papillomavirus in puppies, one of the most common reasons is the lack of strong immunity. Many young dogs are still having their immune systems developed properly, hence, even though they can fight against it, it may take a longer time than usual. Viruses are very easily transmittable, meaning puppies can easily catch them through other dogs by sharing toys, food bowls, or even just coming in contact with another dog’s saliva.

Precautions to take

Papillomas are contagious. But only dogs are susceptible to get them from other dogs, humans or any other animal or species will remain unaffected. This means you will have to withhold your dog from meeting its puppy friends until it has been cured. A recommended period for quarantine is 5 to 6 months, with an extra precautionary month or two.

The extra month is to make sure that the development period of the virus (which is almost a month) is surpassed. So if no signs of white bumps on the dog’s lip are seen, you can conclude that the virus has indeed been eradicated and there is no chance of transmission of the papillomavirus. It might also be a good idea to keep your dogs’ utensils and toys away and have them sterilized so other dogs don’t accidentally get infected.

If you have other dogs at home, keep examining them every few days or weeks to see if they have been infected, otherwise, they will have to be quarantined as well.

Even if you haven’t had an infected dog in the house, it is a good habit to keep a check on your dog’s health by looking out for papillomas on their body.

Lastly, if you find recurring signs of papilloma after the curing of the first illness, take a vet’s opinion.

Conclusion: White Bumps on Dog’s Lips

In conclusion, papilloma may heal themselves without your dog knowing they were there, or they could be painful for your dog. Your furry friend may also get tired of spending a couple of months in quarantine, away from its friends at the daycare or park.

But after healing or being healed from this virus, it will most likely be immune from it forever, so hang in there!

Finally, make sure you get an experienced professional to check the papilloma out if you are not aware, or if they look serious.

Stay safe!

white bump on dogs lips

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