Dog Wart Removal Using Thuja
If your dog has annoying warts, you may be looking for natural, home remedies for dog warts and you may have stumbled on thuja occidentalis for dog wart removal. I want to share this remedy, as when I worked for a vet, I recall a client trying it and reporting the outstanding results that left a vet, who had advised surgery a few weeks prior, baffled. Before trying out this remedy though, it's important to learn more about thuja and dog warts. First off, what exactly is thuja? Thujas, also known as eastern white cedar, or Arbor vitae, which means "Tree of Life," are large evergreen trees native to eastern North America and belonging to the cypress family. They are often used as ornamental trees for hedges and landscape projects.
Herbal remedies are often made from branches and the tiny, leaves, known for containing the oil thujone. In ancient times, the needles of Thuja occidentalis were used by native Canadians as a tea that prevented and treated scurvy, while in the 19th century, a tincture or ointment made of thuja was often used to treat skin problems such as warts, ringworm and thrush. While many claim thuja to be effective, according to the American Cancer Society, scientific evidence doesn't support any claims about thuja or its extracts for being safe or effective. The only study I was able to find on thuja use in animals with warts is one on cattle where thuja was used for 3 weeks and was found to be a good alternative to surgery. For those interested, the study can be found here; effect of thuja occidentalis on cattle papillomas. Caution should always be used when using any herbal supplements and it's always best to first consult with your veterinarian or holistic veterinarian. As with all my articles tackling nutrition or health, they're not a substitute for professional veterinarian or nutritional advice, please read all disclaimers.
What Exactly are Dog Warts?
Dog warts are quite popular among puppies and young dogs under two years of age and are mostly caused by the papilloma virus. These are highly contagious growths that often present in clusters and can be easily passed from one pup to another by direct contact such as sharing toys, water bowls and food dishes, so if you have more than one dog, be careful in keeping them separated, and if you take your dog to daycare or dog parks, don't take him until your vet says it's OK. No worries though; this condition is species-specific (contagious only among dogs), and therefore, cannot be transmitted to humans, children, babies or cats. Most often, they're found on the dog's lips, nose, and gums but may occasionally spread to other areas. These cauliflower, anemone-like growths are often sign of a poor immune response which is why they're more often found in puppies, immunosuppressed dogs given immunosuppressive drugs such as prednisone, and older dogs. Dogs often get these unsightly growths after being vaccinated.
At times, veterinarians may crush these growths so to stimulate the dog's immune system to kick in and fight them. In young dogs, the warts often resolve on their own and eventually fall off after about 3 to 6 months, sometimes though they become infected and quite bothersome and may require a course of azithromycin, a common antibiotic.
Warts may also affect older dogs, and when this happens, again it may be a sign of a poor immune system. Veterinarian Shawn Messionier refers to them as “old dog warts." These wart-like growths in many cases turn out being sebaceous adenomas and epitheliomas. Unlike puppy warts, these can occur anywhere other than mucous membranes. They may also present as single growths rather than clusters and since they're not caused by the papilloma virus, they're not contagious. They're quite common in poodles, Maltese, and bichons. See your vet for proper diagnosis.
While warts may look like innocent growths, at times they can become quite bothersome. They may itch, cause problems eating when in the mouth, and can get irritated and bleed in they are in a troublesome location that dogs repeatedly chew or scratch. In these instances, where other options have failed, vets may suggest to have these growths surgically removed or undergo cryotherapy (freezing), which, according to the vet in the video below, can be painful. However, these growth may still grow back if the immune system is still weak. In some cases, supplements may help out.
I've seen Thuja-based products commonly used in veterinary homeopathy. Consult with your vet before using one.
Treating Dog Warts with Thuja
If your dog has a wart, it's always best to see your vet. Even though rare, some growths may look like warts, but may be something more serious. For instance, mast cell tumors, often known as the "great imitators" may look like old dog warts. In some very rare cases, a wart can also transform into a squamous cell carcinoma, adds veterinarian Karen Becker. Both can be ruled out by doing a a fine needle aspirate of the growth. Yet, in many cases, vets readily recognize the classic appearance of warts and will diagnose them on the spot.
Treating Dog Warts from the Inside Out
Because dog warts are more common in dogs with a vulnerable immune system, enforcing the immune system may help treat the dog from the inside out. This is why holistic practitioners also recommend giving thuja after dog vaccinations as they help the immune system. Karen Becker suggests not over vaccinating dogs and offering a healthy diet for dogs suffering from warts . Veterinarian Shawn Messionier on his website claims to use an immune supporting supplement known as Immuno Support made of arabinogalactans, lutein, and shitake mushrooms.
At the same time, thuja can be helpful, especially for warts seen in puppies and young dogs. Thuja occidentalis 30c, comes in drops or pellets. Some products are meant to be applied topically directly on the warts, while others under the form of pellets or drops, are meant to be given by mouth. Make sure you read the dog thuja dosage and directions on the labels carefully!
Disclaimer: this article is fruit of my research and is not meant to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your dog has a wart, please see your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. Always consult with your vet or holistic vet before trying any supplements. By reading my articles, you accept my disclaimers.
Veterinarian Karen Becker discusses dog warts and thuja
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2015 Adrienne Janet Farricelli