Four unrelated European pugs were examined because of lesions on the ventral abdomen and legs. Lesions were slightly raised, deeply pigmented, and hyperkeratotic. Histologic examination did not reveal any evidence of viral inclusions; however, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing identified a novel canine papillomavirus (CPV4). This virus is distinct from oral PV and from other previously isolated CPVs. Study funded in part by the Waltham Foundation.
COMMENTARY: The article raises several key issues of which veterinarians and pug owners should be aware. The novel CPV documented in the 4 pugs in this study is distinct from the more common CPVs in the sense that it does not seem to be infectious. Further study needs to be done on its exact mode of inheritance. A hyperpigmented mass or lesion in a pug should prompt the clinician to pursue biopsy and potentially PCR testing. Most other breeds have a high degree of neoplastic findings with hyperpigmented masses (strong suspicion of melanoma), whereas the lesions here were not malignant. This may be very good news for pugs and their owners!