Papillomavirus and Fibropapillomas in Angora goats
By Dr Mackie Hobson BSc(Agric),BVSc

Tuesday, 7th November 2023

Papillomas are benign growths that occur on the skin and mucous membranes of Angora goats (and other animals-especially cattle)

How does transmission occur?

Transmission of the papillomavirus occurs via abrasions of the skin or genital mucosa. The virus is very resistant and survives in the environment. Generally, younger goats are affected.

Clinical signs, where do they occur?

There are two forms of papillomas.

  1. Papillomas occur on the face, ears, neck, shoulder and forelegs- these regress in 1-2 months
  2. Papillomas occurring on the udder and teats and these may develop cutaneous horns and there is no regression of these lesions

Papillomas are benign (non-malignant growths) are usually multiple and occur. They can become crusted and pedunculated and vary in size

Can the growth become more serious?

If the growths occur in skin that lacks pigmentation and get exposed to the sun are prone to develop into Squamous cell carcinomas (malignant cancer).

What is the difference between Papillomas and Fibropapillomas?

Fibropapillomas are benign growths of the skin and mucous membranes caused by the fibropapilloma virus and appear as firm white fibrous growths. They are broad-based. Strands of epithelium may penetrate into the connective tissue.


Photos of Fibropapillom following excision


Other growths that appear similar

Orf - crusty lesions around mouth, face, ears and lower legs usually in kids 


Control and treatment

Papillomatosis is generally self-limiting.

  • Surgical excision
  • Crushing/scrubbing warts may liberate the virus, which could potentially enter the bloodstream and improve the immune response to the virus. In a similar way, autogenous vaccines have been tried.



Infectious diseases of livestock, Coetzer,Thomson, Tustin

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