Warts

By: Dr. Lydia Gray

What is it?

Warts are small growths on the muzzle of young horses caused by the papilloma virus. They are usually only seen on horses four years of age and younger because the immune system of the young horse is not yet fully developed. Most adult horses have developed immunity to the virus. Because warts are caused by a contagious virus, infected horses (and their tack and equipment) should be kept separate from other horses to limit spread of the condition.

What can be done about it?

Since warts usually go away on their own in six to nine months, no treatment is generally needed unless the warts are in an area where they interfere with tack or have been irritated and developed into open sores. Many people believe removing a few warts by pinching them off helps speed up the process but research has not supported this belief. Likewise, a vaccine made from a horseƕs own warts does not seem to cause them to go away any sooner either.

What else do I need to know?

The same virus that causes warts on the muzzle of young horses also causes ear papillomas, or aural plaques, in adult horses. Just like with warts, the best treatment is usually to leave them alone unless they are growing large or obviously causing the horse discomfort. Of course, any skin condition should be examined by a veterinarian to confirm the diagnosis and rule out a more serious problem such as sarcoids or sarcoma.

About Dr. Lydia Gray

Have questions? Contact us »
Connect with us:

Brittany and Nate
Ever since I was the girl with 1,000 breyer horses and the raggity braid in her hair, I was always obsessed. In second grade I moved into a town with a barn right down the street, which is when I started taking lessons...

Learn more »

Recipe: Homemade Carrot and Oat Treats
It has been such a cold and snowy winter here in Massachusetts for the past few months. I look for any excuse to fire up my oven. Prior to visiting my horse Bug last weekend I decided to make her

Read More »

Download our mobile apps

Put SmartPak in your pocket with these awesome apps!

Check It Out »

Healthy horses, happy riders.
SmartPak is committed to a greener planet.
Sign Out
Sign Up Now!
Free Catalog Get Yours Now!

SmartPak Equine™ is the premier online provider of horse supplies and equine supplements.
Questions? Call us Toll-Free at 1-888-339-9695. © Copyright 2014 by SmartPak Equine LLC. All Rights reserved.