Large animal cutaneous neoplasia



Papillomatosis (warts) can occur in horses (generally on the muzzle) but is more frequent in cattle (head, teats and penis). It is caused by a papilloma virus and immunity occurs with age. Transmission is via animal-animal contact, often through abrasions.


Warts are usually self-limiting. Pinching one off may stimulate regression of the others. Penile papillomas may need treatment (debulking) if hemospermia or problems with penile retraction are noted. Just be careful to not cause more issues when removing the tumor; you do not have to be super aggressive.

Surgical removal in a bull

Key Takeaways

Warts are caused by the papilloma virus. Young animals are affected and develop immunity with age.

  • No treatment is required for muzzle lesions.
  • Penile fibropapilloma looks aggressive and also resolves; debulking can help with secondary issues.


Surgical Procedures of the Genital Organs of Bulls VCNA Vol.32(3), pp.701-725, 2016



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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes Copyright © by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.