Skin Tag on Dog Eyelid: What You Need to Know for Safe Removal and Optimal Pet Eye Health

skin tag on dog eyelid

Dog Skin Tags: What You Need to Know

Often called skin tags, or acrochordons in medical terms, these common growths can appear on the skin of dogs, including their eyelids.

These fleshy, benign tumors may appear as small, soft, and raised bumps, often resembling warts.

In this article, we will explore the characteristics of dog skin tags, their causes, and how they can be diagnosed and treated.

Skin Tag on Dog Eyelid – What do dog eye warts look like?

Dog eye warts, or canine papilloma, can vary in appearance. They typically manifest as small, round, or irregularly shaped growths on the surface of the dog’s eyelid.

These skin tags can be flesh-colored or slightly darker, and they may have a stalk-like structure attaching them to the skin.

While they are generally harmless, eye warts can sometimes cause discomfort or affect the dog’s vision if they grow too large or become infected.

What causes Papilloma?

Skin tags on dogs are commonly caused by a viral infection known as canine papillomavirus (CPV).

The lumps, bumps, and cysts on a dog can be identified as papilloma.

This virus affects the dog’s skin cells, particularly the hair follicles, causing them to multiply and form these benign growths.

CPV is highly contagious among dogs, especially in environments where they come into close contact with one another, such as dog parks or kennels.

Young dogs with developing immune systems are more susceptible to contracting the virus and developing skin tags.

Skin Tags on Dogs

Skin tags on dogs can develop for various reasons, but the primary cause is the presence of the canine papillomavirus.

This virus can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected dog or contaminated objects.

However, it’s worth noting that not all dogs exposed to CPV will develop skin tags, as the immune system plays a role in determining the susceptibility of an individual dog.

Other factors, such as genetics and hormonal imbalances, may also contribute to the development of skin tags.

Read more here to learn how you can clear your dog’s skin tags at home.

How Do Dogs Contract Warts?

Dogs can contract warts by coming into contact with an infected dog or contaminated surfaces, such as shared toys or water bowls.

The virus can enter the dog’s body through small cuts or abrasions in the skin, where it can then replicate and cause the formation of skin tags.

Young dogs, particularly those under the age of two, are more prone to contracting CPV and developing warts due to their developing immune systems.

Diagnoses of Skin Tags

If you notice skin tags or suspicious growths on your dog’s eyelid or anywhere on their body, it is important to have them examined by a veterinarian.

The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination and may conduct additional tests, such as a biopsy, to confirm the diagnosis.

Diagnosis of skin tags is extremely important before it leads to something serious.

Biopsies involve taking a small sample of the affected tissue and examining it under a microscope to determine if it is a skin tag and rule out any other potential health concerns.

Treatment and Surgical Removal

Most skin tags on dogs do not require treatment unless they cause discomfort, interfere with the dog’s vision, or become infected.

In such cases, your veterinarian may recommend surgical removal of the skin tags. This procedure is typically performed under anesthesia, and the veterinarian will carefully excise the skin tags using sterile surgical instruments.

After the removal, the veterinarian may prescribe medications or provide post-operative care instructions to ensure proper healing.

Causes of Dog Eye Warts

Canine warts, also known as skin tags or papillomas, can affect dogs of all ages, but they are more commonly seen in older and middle-aged dogs.

These growths are caused by a viral infection and are often the result of direct contact with other dogs carrying the virus.

The most common culprit is the canine papillomavirus (CPV), which can be transmitted through activities such as playing, sharing toys, or even sniffing other dogs.

While most warts are harmless and resolve on their own, they can be a cause of concern when they appear on the dog’s eyelid.

What Should I Do If My Dog Gets Warts?

If you notice a skin tag on your dog’s eyelid or suspect it might be a wart, it is important to consult with a veterinarian who specializes in veterinary medicine.

They will conduct a thorough physical exam to confirm the diagnosis and rule out any other underlying conditions that may look like warts. In some rare cases, additional tests such as a biopsy may be necessary to determine the nature of the growth.

When is Dog Wart Removal Recommended?

In general, dog warts do not require treatment unless they are causing discomfort to the dog or interfering with their vision.

However, when it comes to warts on the eyelid, removal may be recommended even if they are not causing immediate issues.

This is because eyelid warts can potentially obstruct the dog’s vision, leading to irritation, excessive tearing, or corneal abrasions.

The decision to remove the warts will depend on several factors, including the dog’s overall health, the size and location of the wart, and the severity of symptoms.

Treatment options for dog warts can include cryotherapy (freezing the wart), laser therapy, surgical excision, or the use of topical medications.

Your veterinarian will recommend the most suitable course of action based on your dog’s specific case.


In conclusion, canine warts, including those appearing on the eyelid, are caused by viral infections and can be transmitted through direct contact with infected dogs.

While most warts are harmless and resolve on their own, if your dog develops warts on the eyelid, it is important to see your veterinarian to determine the cause of the wart and someone who can provide you with veterinary medicine.

They will assess the situation and recommend appropriate treatment options if necessary, taking into consideration the dog’s health and the potential impact on vision.

Read more about different types of warts in dogs here.


How are papillomas diagnosed?

Papillomas are diagnosed through physical examination and sometimes require additional tests like a biopsy.

What are the clinical signs of papillomas?

Clinical signs of papillomas include raised, wart-like growths on the skin or mucous membranes, often seen in the mouth or around the eyes.

Why did my pet develop a papilloma tumor?

Pets develop papilloma tumors due to viral infections, particularly the canine papillomavirus (CPV), transmitted through direct contact with infected dogs.

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