Q: My Poodle is 11-years-old and has multiple warts around his skin. I notice that they tend to be nicked during grooming, resulting in the formation of scabs. How can I prevent this from happening and what type of shampoo would you recommend for his skin?

A: Dog warts fall in two categories: those occurring in puppies and those seen in senior dogs. The former is caused by the canine papilloma virus. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted to other pets in the household. The latter is age-related and is mostly due to a weak immune system. While there is no known prevention for ‘old dog warts’, they are not transmissible between pets and humans.Breeds particularly susceptible to warts include Poodles, Maltese and Bichons, although they can occur in any older dog. In your dog’s case, the cause of its warts is likely age-related. These skin lesions are harmless and do not pose any problems.  

Surgery is one way to remove them but this is purely for aesthetic reasons and does not stop new warts from growing. I suggest that you work on building up your Poodle’s immunity instead with the help of health supplements.

At the groomer, be mindful to inform them of its warts and where they are especially if you intend to have Fido’s fur shaved or trimmed short. My advice is that you request the groomer not to cut its fur too short and trim it by using a pair of scissors instead of a clipper to lessen the chances of irritation.

When warts are nicked during grooming, a bit of peroxide can be applied, along with some pressure to stop the bleeding and clean the wart. You can consider trying the Prunus range of dog shampoo, which is known to boost the skin’s immunity.

Benign warts are pale coloured and remain the same size and shape. Be sure to look out for any changes in the appearance, which are indicative of cancer. Malignant warts are dark brown or black and typically appear around the face, eyelids or lips.