Dog Wart Removal Using Thuja

Updated on August 26, 2019
alexadry profile image

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, former veterinary assistant, and the author of "Brain Training for Dogs."

Thuja for Wart Removal in Dogs
Thuja for Wart Removal in Dogs | Source

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.

Traditional Use

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.

Scientific Evidence

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.

The Treatment of Dog Warts
The Treatment of Dog Warts | Source

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.

Boiron Thuja Occidentalis 30C 80 Pellets Wart Removal Medicine. Homeopathic Quick-dissolving Pellets for Painless Wart Removal with Natural Active Ingredient
Boiron Thuja Occidentalis 30C 80 Pellets Wart Removal Medicine. Homeopathic Quick-dissolving Pellets for Painless Wart Removal with Natural Active Ingredient

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


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    • profile image


      3 weeks ago

      I put my dog in Thuja pellets. It worked wonders in just one week!!! The warts shrunk, almost gone!!!

      I’m wondering though How many times Can i repeat the treatment to make the warts go away completely?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      7 weeks ago

      Lori, You should follow the directions on the label or call the company directly, or even better, ask your vet. Each product is different. When I purchased Thuja for my dogs after getting their rabies vaccine, my vet didn't like that it contained alcohol and said he rather use types without it. So I got the brand he suggested.

    • profile image


      8 weeks ago

      I purchased liquid Thuja to give to my 11 year old dog that have a lot of warts on her body. Can you please share how much I give her each day?

      she is 14 lbs

      the Thuja that I bought does have organic cane alcohol in it

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      My Bassett hound had one large wart on his lip about the size of a grape and another cluster of warts inside his cheek. He also had small warts popping up on his gums. It was very distressing. We used vitamin E liquid directly on the warts for several weeks. We then tried Thuga for two or three weeks. Next was vitamin E oil. What seems to have finally cured this was Head to Tail Immune Support. We gave him two treats per day for about 10 days and the warts are suddenly gone! We were on the verge of possibly having surgery to remove the large one on his lip. So the immune boosting treats seems to have helped his body fight this virus. Hope this helps someone.

    • profile image

      Jeannie St. Pierre 

      14 months ago

      how do I administer Thuja to my dog? Can I put it in a pc. of food like a cucumber, or pc. of cheese or meat?

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      Administered 6 pellets in a tbsp of pumpkin 1/day for a week and what a difference! My 10mo dog had clusters of warts and now they’re almost all gone. The vet recommended waiting them out as they usually clear up within 3 months and it didn’t seem to be bothering him but I wanted a natural remedy to speed up the process and thuja did the trick!!

      For other dog owners out there here’s what my vet said about the warts:

      1. Get them checked to ensure they aren’t tumors

      2. They tend to clear themselves up within 3 months if the dog is under 1yo (longer if it’s an older dog).

      3. Surgical removal is invasive, has a high bleeding risk, and often results in them coming back anyway.

      4. Antibiotics are ONLY if infected. Since the warts are viral, antibiotics won’t do anything to get rid of them.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      19 months ago

      Kelly, thank you for sharing what your biologist said. My holistic vet just last week approved the use of Thuja to use for my Rotties before and after getting a rabies vaccine. Since they are 10 years old we were concerned about the side effects of vaccines. He told me that he prefers the pellet form of Thuja occidentalis versus the versions in alcohol. He said not very fond of alcohol products for dogs. We used it for a few days and I must confess I was a bit worried after reading Smokey's story. But my holistic vet reassured me that he has used it many times with success. Luckily everything went fine.

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      Adrienne, I just read Smokey's sad story regarding his dog passing after one dose of Thuja. I have a liquid detox formula with Thuja that a vet sold me to administer after a dog's vaccine - Bordatella, I think. I used it without any problems but later when working with a biologist on a natural heartworm treatment plan for my dog, his comment on Thuja was "Be cautious with the thuja mixture you are using. Thuja is a very strong herb and can create negative neurological symptoms and in a quick period of time. The only time i would ever want to use a direct source of thuja internally is when im trying to remove skin tags, warts, and liver spots from the skin. Thats it. " I have never seen this repeated anywhere else. Although I am a true homeopathic advocate, I just found it interesting in light of the story below.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      20 months ago

      Smokey, so sorry to hear about your dog. It's always important to consult with your vet or holistic vet before trying any supplements just to play it safe. I could not find any evidence-based literature of Thuja causing the symptoms you are seeing. I looked up in Google scholar and only found Thuja occidentalis being used in homeopathy for the treatment of cancer, and actually having anti-cancer effects in humans when used to address an aggressive type of brain tumor known as glioblastoma. See "Pro-apoptotic and anti-angiogenic properties of the α /β-thujone fraction from Thuja occidentalis on glioblastoma cells." It may help to see another vet for a second opinion. The signs you are seeing sound like "old dog vestibular disease" but only an MRI or CT scan can 100 percent differentiate the two. If vestibular in nature, symptoms generally get better within a week. Here's what a vet says about these two conditions: " " Hopefully, it's the latter, although the chances for brain cancer are always possible in senior dogs.

    • profile image

      Smokey Aguirre 

      20 months ago

      Just wondering if I just helped terminate my dog. I gave my 14 yr old Lab 1 pellet of Thuja Occidentalis last night and about an hour later she started walking sideways, head tilted and her pupils moving rapidly up and down. I thought the symptoms would pass, but she never got better. We took her to the vet this AM and they diagnosed with with a possible brain tumor causing this. I asked if the Thuja Occidentalis could have been a factor and they said probably not, but cannot be 100% sure. I am racked with guilt over this as I was only trying to help her get rid of her warts. I cannot believe 1 little pill would bring this on, but there is no other logical explanation. Any thoughts please!!

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      20 months ago

      CJ, as mentioned in the article there are different types of thuja, some meant for topical application and some to be taken internally. Most likely, that product you are referring to is just for topical application for areas other than the mouth. I have asked the company though and will let you know what they reply. Always best to consult the vet before starting a dog on supplements.

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      You show a picture of the wart in the mouth, but the Thuja linked specifically says do not use around the mouth. So, that seems contradictory. My dog as a wart on her front lip that we are desperate to get rid of but concerned if this is a safe option.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      My 10 month Golden had one the size of a dime inside of his lip. It seemed like it came out of nowhere and was pretty large. The vet acted like she had never seen anything like it before and said it must be removed. So he had it surgically removed but I'm afraid more will just grow back. Even though it's gone would giving him the Thuja pills prevent it from coming back?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Emiz My German Shepherd has the same thing going on . She has two good sized ones on her tongue. Did you dissolve the little pills in water then have them drink it or how did you administer?

    • profile image

      Matt Dwerlkotte 

      2 years ago

      I just picked up my Thuja Occidentals 30C today and I am wondering how to administer it. Can I simply mix it in with her food? Should I put the pills in peanut butter?

    • profile image 

      2 years ago

      My vet told me that Demodex was caused by dogs being raised around cattle is this true?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago

      Emily Z thanks for sharing your story about your puppy's warts. Good to hear that thuja worked for your puppy's warts. I love success stories as such. Yay for thuja!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My pup got warts in his mouths which probably came from the dog park. They were rapidly growing so I got him to the vet. She prescribed antibiotics ( I'm not a fan) so I thought I would give it a try to be sure to give my dog a good round of probiotics afterwards. $160 dollars later the warts persisted.

      I read about thuja and within the first week the warts were diminishing and the 2nd week they were gone. I love a $7 safe remedy! Too bad the vet charged me so much for nothing.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago

      Thanks, my dogs are getting older and if I ever notice a wart, I would see the vet first and then would rather try to treat it the natural way.

    • amanda5577 profile image


      4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for posting such an informative article! Although I don't have issues with warts on my animals currently, I know I will always have animals in my life and I know how important it is to be educated about my pet's health. I found your article to be very interesting. :)


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