Parasites and Diseases
Papillomas (Warts)

A Field Guide


caption follows
Moose with numerous warts.
What causes warts?
  • Warts in animals are caused by viruses similar to those that cause warts in people.
  • Papillomas are spread between animals by direct contact.
Where do warts occur?
  • Warts are found on the skin of moose or caribou throughout Alaska.
  • They are most common in animals younger than 2 years old.
What are the signs of warts?
  • Affected animals are usually in good body condition.
  • Warts are often found on the head but can occur on other parts of the body.
  • In caribou and moose, the warts are dark lumps that vary in size from 1/3 to 6 inches. There may be only one or many and the surface may be rough or smooth.
How can I protect myself?
  • Papilloma viruses are species-specific so the moose virus does not infected people.
Can I eat the meat?
  • Meat from infected animals is suitable for human consumption.
  • Trim off parts containing warts.
Samples to collect
  • Common, no reports needed