Bumps on Dog Lips [From Woof to Ouch]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Ever wondered what those mysterious bumps on your dog’s lips are all about?

From puzzling over their origins to fretting about your pup’s comfort, these little bumps can be a real head-scratcher.

In this post, I’m not only unraveling the secrets behind these bumps on dog lips but also arming you with the knowledge to soothe your furry friend’s woes.

Let’s jump straight in.

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What is the Reason for a Bump on Your Dog’s Lips?

What is the Reason for a Bump on Your Dog's Lips

If you’re like me, you also notice the tiniest changes in your pet. Sometimes, you might see strange bumps on your dog’s lips that weren’t there before. 

Before you worry, let’s first figure out what could have caused these unusual bumps and see if they’re just a passing thing or if it’s time to get the vet involved.

Canine papilloma (canine warts)

Canine warts, or papillomas, are viral growths that can appear on your dog’s lips. 

Young dogs, like puppies, are more susceptible to them, usually getting them from close contact with other dogs or objects they’ve explored. 

The good news is that these warts often sort themselves out over time. 

Allergic reaction

If your dog’s lips suddenly have bumps, it could be due to an allergic reaction. 

Your furry friend might have come into contact with something that doesn’t agree with them, like a new food, plant, or even a chemical in their environment. 

Often, once the allergen is removed or reduced, the bumps should go away on their own.

Old age skin tag

Just like humans, dogs can develop skin tags as they age. These soft, flappy growths can pop up on their lips and are usually benign.

Cysts or abscesses

Cysts are fluid-filled lumps that can form under the skin, while abscesses are pockets filled with pus. These can show up on your dog’s lips due to various reasons. 

While some cysts may resolve on their own, others might need veterinary intervention, especially if they grow or become infected.

Pyoderma (pustules)

Pyoderma is a skin infection that can cause pustules or pus-filled blisters. These pustules can develop on the lips due to bacterial or fungal infections. 

They may appear red, swollen, and sometimes painful.

Insect bite or injury

If your dog yelps or cries out suddenly, it might have been due to an insect bite or a small injury. Bumps from these causes can be accompanied by swelling and discomfort. 

Common insects like mosquitoes or bees, especially if your dog spends time outdoors, could be the culprits.


Yes, dogs can get acne too! It can show up on their lips, chin, or muzzle. These bumps might look like small red or white pimples.

dog having bumps on its lips

Lip fold dermatitis

Breeds with skin folds, like Bulldogs, can develop lip fold dermatitis. The folds can trap moisture, leading to irritation and inflammation.

Parasitic and fungal infection

Certain parasites or fungi can lead to bumps on the lips. These could be tiny mites or fungal spores causing discomfort. 

Treating these infections may require medication or topical treatments prescribed by a vet.

Oral cancer and tumors

While less common, bumps on the lips could be signs of cancerous growth. These might feel firm, irregular, or grow over time. 

These bumps will not go away on their own. If you notice persistent or growing bumps, it’s essential to have them checked by a vet.

Symptoms of Oral Papilloma Virus in Dogs

Dogs with oral papillomavirus might develop small, round, and raised bumps on their lips or inside their mouths. 

These bumps can be white or pink and may look like warts that humans get. While they’re usually painless, they can sometimes cause discomfort.

What Does Canine Oral Papilloma Look Like?

Canine oral papilloma appears as small, cauliflower-like growths on your dog’s lips, gums, or inside their mouth. These growths can be white or pinkish and may occur singly or in clusters. 

What Breeds Are Commonly Affected by Canine Oral Papilloma?

Canine oral papilloma can affect dogs of all breeds, but it’s more common in younger dogs, especially puppies. 

Breeds like Boxers, Cocker Spaniels, and Bulldogs might be more susceptible.

How is Canine Oral Papilloma Treated?

In most cases, canine oral papillomas don’t need treatment as they often go away on their own within a few weeks to months.

However, if the growths persist, grow larger, or cause discomfort, your vet might recommend removal. 

  • Your vet might opt for surgical removal. This involves cutting out the growths under anesthesia. 
  • Another method of removing the growth is cryotherapy. It’s a fancy term for the procedure where the papillomas are frozen using liquid nitrogen. 
  • The freezing destroys the cells, causing the growths to fall off over time.
  • Finally, there’s also laser treatment. This option uses a focused beam of light to vaporize or shrink the papillomas. It’s precise and can be a less invasive option for removal.

What is the Cost of Treating Canine Oral Papilloma?

Getting a definite diagnosis of oral papilloma with a biopsy could set you back around $500. If you need a specialist’s help, the bill might climb further north. 

Going all-out with surgery could hit $2,500, but often a regular vet can get the job done.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Getting Canine Oral Papilloma?

To keep your pup safe from this pesky infection, make sure to steer clear of sick doggie pals and anything that’s a germ hotspot, like their toys and bowls. 

Keep their stuff clean by giving it a regular wash. 

While vaccines might offer some protection, remember they’re not a sure bet. 

Don’t skip those routine check-ups with the vet—catching any mouth troubles early means quicker solutions for your furry buddy.

How to Prevent Canine Acne?

How to Prevent Canine Acne

If you’re keen on helping your furry friend avoid getting pimples, there are a few things you can do.

  • First up, practice good hygiene. 
  • Regular baths using vet-approved shampoos will keep their skin fresh and free from excess oils and dirt. 
  • If it’s not bath time yet, a gentle wipe of their muzzle with a damp cloth and some diluted benzoyl peroxide can work wonders.
  • Another trick is to steer clear of rough surfaces and rowdy play. This can help prevent any further irritation to the chin area where acne tends to pop up.
  • You can also bring in topical treatments. Think creams with benzoyl peroxide that help unclog hair follicles and beat bacteria. 
  • Go the extra nile with medicated wipes, cleansers, and shampoos prescribed by the vet to keep that acne under control. These will ensure that your pet’s skin remains bump-free.

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What Does the Color of a Lip Bump or Spot Tell You?

Just like their barks and tail wags, the color of a bump or spot on their lip can reveal a lot. Let’s dive into the colorful world of lip bumps and see what each hue might be trying to tell us:

Pink spot on dog’s lip

A pink spot might not be as serious as it looks. Often, it’s a result of minor irritation or maybe even a playtime scrape. 

If it’s not bothering your pup and looks more like a superficial boo-boo, chances are it will heal on its own.

Red spot on dog’s lip

Red is often a sign that something’s up. It could be an allergic reaction or even a burst blood vessel. 

If your furry friend’s sporting a red spot, it’s worth keeping an eye on it and considering a vet visit if it doesn’t fade away.

White bump on dog’s lip

A little white bump might remind you of a pimple. Sometimes, it’s just that—a minor clogged hair follicle. 

But it could also be a sebaceous cyst, which is like a small fluid-filled sac. These often resolve on their own, but if they grow, change in appearance, or your dog fusses with them, it’s time to see the vet.

Green or yellow spot on dog’s lip

Green or yellow might sound like an odd lip color, but if you see this, it could be a sign of infection. 

These colors often indicate the presence of pus, which means something’s brewing underneath. If there are any lip bump colors that warrant a quick visit to the vet, this is it.

When is It Time to Call Your Vet About Bumps on Your Dog’s Lips?

You don’t have to make the call right away, but keep a close eye and contact your veterinarian if there are any changes or if the bumps persist for more than a week.

Some immediate signs that you should call your vet include the bump growing rapidly. Others are if the bump is oozing or bleeding. 

Additionally, if it appears red or discolored, that’s a sign to be concerned about.

If the bump is causing your dog pain, it’s definitely time to get in touch with the vet. 

Another worrisome sign is if the bump starts opening up.

Your veterinarian will be able to examine the bump and determine the cause.

They may recommend a biopsy or other diagnostic tests to determine if the bump is benign or malignant.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What causes warts in dogs?

The papillomavirus is what causes canine papillomas, or doggy warts. These growths are usually harmless and common in young dogs. They often appear on the mouth, lips, and face.

Are dog warts contagious to humans or other pets?

No, dog warts are usually not contagious to humans or other pets. They are specific to dogs and are not considered a threat to humans or most other animals.

How long is oral papilloma in dogs contagious?

Oral papillomas in dogs are contagious during the growth phase, which typically lasts for about 1 to 2 months. Once the warts have matured and disappeared, they are no longer contagious.

How are oral papillomas transmitted to dogs?

Oral papillomas are transmitted through direct contact with infected dogs or contaminated objects like toys and water bowls. Dogs can contract the virus by playing with or being around infected dogs or shared items.

In Conclusion: Bumps on Dog Lips

Remember, those mysterious bumps on your dog’s lips might seem like a riddle, but armed with knowledge, you’re now the savvy detective. 

With a keen eye, a touch of TLC, and this newfound understanding, you and your furry companion can face anything—because a happy, healthy pup’s smile is truly worth it.

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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