Dog Wart Removal Using Thuja
Can Dog Warts Be Removed Naturally?
If your dog has been diagnosed with unsightly warts by a veterinarian, you may be looking for natural home remedies to get rid of them. You may have even stumbled upon Thuja occidentalis for dog wart removal, but you're probably wondering if it even works.
Back when I worked for a vet, a client once reported trying thuja for her dog. The outstanding results left the vet, who had advised surgery a few weeks prior, baffled. Before trying out this natural remedy, however, it's important to learn more about thuja and the numerous causes of warts in dogs.
What Is Thuja?
First off, what exactly is it? Thuja, also known as the eastern white cedar or arbor vitae—meaning "Tree of Life"—is a large evergreen tree native to eastern North America, belonging to the cypress family. These trees are often used ornamentally for hedges and landscape projects.
Herbal remedies are made from the oil of the plant's branches and tiny leaves because it contains the medicinal terpene thujone. In ancient times, the needles of Thuja occidentalis were made into a tea and used by native Canadians to prevent and treat scurvy. In the 19th century, the plant was made into a tincture or ointment and was often used to treat skin problems such as warts, ringworm, and thrush.
While many claim that thuja is effective, the American Cancer Society states that there is not enough scientific evidence to support safety and effectivity claims. In one study on teat warts in cattle, however, thuja was used for three weeks; the results suggest that it could offer a promising alternative to surgery.
Caution should always be used with any herbal supplements. It's always best to first consult with your veterinarian or holistic veterinarian.
What Exactly Are Dog Warts?
Warts are quite common in 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.
How to Prevent Them From Spreading
If you have more than one dog and one of your dogs is affected, be careful and keep them separated. Also, if you take your dog to daycare or dog parks, refrain from doing so until your vet says it's okay.
Are Dog Warts Contagious to Humans?
No. This condition is species-specific (contagious only among dogs) and cannot be transmitted to humans, children, babies, or cats. These warts are typically found on the dog's lips, nose, and gums, but may occasionally spread to other areas.
What Causes Them?
These cauliflower-shaped, anemone-like growths are often a sign of a poor immune response which is why they're more often found on puppies, immunosuppressed dogs on immunosuppressive drugs such as prednisone, and older dogs. Dogs may also develop these unsightly growths after being vaccinated.
In young dogs, the warts often resolve on their own and eventually fall off after about 3 to 6 months, although sometimes they become infected and may require a course of azithromycin, a common antibiotic.
Warts In Older Dogs
Warts may also affect older dogs and may again be a sign of poor immune system function. (Veterinarian Shawn Messionier refers to them as “old dog warts.") Many times, these wart-like growths turn out to be sebaceous adenomas and epitheliomas.
Unlike puppy warts, these can occur anywhere other than on the 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, Malteses, and Bichon Frises.
When Is Removal Necessary?
While warts may look like innocent growths, at times they can become quite bothersome. They may itch, cause problems eating, and can become irritated and bleed if they are in a troublesome location—like where a dog repeatedly chews or scratches.
In these instances, where other options have failed, vets may suggest having these growths surgically removed or for the dog to undergo cryotherapy (freezing), but cryotherapy can be painful. Not to mention, these growths may grow back if the immune system is still weak. In some cases, supplements may help out.
Veterinarian Karen Becker Discusses Dog Warts and Thuja
Is It a Wart or Something Else?
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 actually 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 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 From the Inside Out
Because dog warts are more common in dogs with a weak immune system, reinforcing the immune system may help treat the dog from the inside out. This is why holistic practitioners also recommend giving thuja after dog vaccinations.
Dr. Karen Becker also suggests not over-vaccinating dogs and offering a healthy diet to those suffering from warts. Veterinarian Shawn Messionier also recommends using an immune-supporting supplement known as Immuno Support (made of arabinogalactans, lutein, and shitake mushrooms) to boost the immune system.
I've seen Thuja-based products commonly used in veterinary homeopathy. Consult with your vet before using one.
How to Use Thuja occidentalis 30c
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 proper dosage for dogs and the directions on the label carefully. Don't forget to share your success story in the comments section below.
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