Wart on Nose

by Julia
(USA)

My dwarf rabbit (less than a year old) has a growth coming out of the middle of his nose (like a horn). It looks like what an old potato gets on it (eye). We took him to the vet and she cut off the growth (and the few that were growing around his mouth). She said she didn't know what they were. Less than two weeks later, they grew back.


It hasn't seemed to bother him. He still eats, drinks, plays, runs, hops, jumps, and is his usual downright cute self, but I'm worried. Anybody ever seen this before?

***** Karen Sez *****
This sounds very much like a shope papilloma virus (papillomatosis), which causes wart-like growths on the rabbit's face, head, neck, and sometimes body.

These typically resolve and go away within 6 months to a year, however there is a very real possibility that the virus may trigger the development of a squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) within 8-9 months at the spot of the wart-like growth. There is no danger whatsoever of a transfer of either warts or cancer to humans.

Nodules can disappear spontaneously, but it is often recommended that they be removed surgically due to the likelihood of bleeding from trauma to the wart, and to the possibility of cancer development in domestic rabbits (possibly greater than 50% chance).

The virus is thought to be transferred through mosquitoes and other arthropods, so enclosing or screening the rabbitry will help minimize the transmission of the virus.

But, since I am not a vet, and can't see your rabbit from here, why don't you present this info to your vet along with your request to monitor your rabbit for any malignant changes in or around that "potato-eye" growth or other warts. Hopefully your vet will be able to research this info, and confirm or rule out this somewhat alarming opinion.

Let us know how it goes, if possible, so others can learn from your rabbit's experiences.

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