First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

What is Oronasal Fistula Closure?

Oronasal fistula closure is a surgical procedure used to correct an oronasal fistula, which is a communication between a feline’s oral cavity and nasal cavity that does not heal. A cat can develop oronasal fistula as a result of neoplasia, trauma, foreign bodies, severe periodontal disease, improper tooth extraction and damage to the alveolar bone during surgery. This feline condition is often identified during a routine dental cleaning without any noted symptoms from the cat owner. A feline oronasal fistula condition must be repaired to prevent the cat from developing a chronic nasal infection. Your veterinarian may perform the closure of this opening in your cat if he or she is a licensed veterinary surgeon. 

Oronasal Fistula Closure Procedure in Cats

The technique the veterinarian uses to repair a feline’s oronasal fistula depends on the absence or presence of the attached gingiva. If the attached gingiva tissue is identified on the buccal mucosa, the flaw can be corrected using a simple sliding mucoperiosteal graft. In this technique of oronasal fistula repair, all necrotic or epithelialized tissue will be removed along the margins. Incisions will then be made beginning at the distal and mesial margins of the fistula toward the buccal mucosa to create a mucosal flap. To create a mucosal flap, the released tissue will be elevated using a periosteal elevator. The created flat of tissue will then be slid over the defect to cover the opening. In order to achieve this action, the veterinarian will be required to make a horizontal incision through the tissue flap’s depth. Once an adequate amount of tissue has been slid over the defect, the tissue will be sutured over the defect using interrupted absorbable sutures. 

Efficacy of Oronasal Fistula Closure in Cats

Oronasal fistula closure in cats is an effective surgical procedure to correct oronasal fistulas. If the surgery was successful and no complications were present, the feline will have a complete recovery. 

Oronasal Fistula Closure Recovery in Cats

Following surgery, your cat will be prescribed pain medications and possibly an antibiotic to prevent bacterial infection. Your cat will be placed on a soft food diet to prevent the stitches from being pulled out and physical activities will be limited. Any activity that may damage the oronasal fistula repair, such as playing with cat toys, should be halted until the repaired area is completely healed.

Cost of Oronasal Fistula Closure in Cats

The base cost for an oronasal fistula in felines is roughly $200 with an additional $40 to $150 for anesthesia and intravenous fluids. Depending on the extent of the oronasal defect, the procedure can cost more, which is why it is important to talk to your veterinarian.  

Cat Oronasal Fistula Closure Considerations

Large oronasal fistula defects are a challenge to treat and pose a risk for hemorrhaging. Your veterinarian will be able to guide a cat owner on the best technique for closing a cat’s oronasal fistula. As your veterinarian for all possible risks and benefits for your cat’s specific condition.  

Oronasal Fistula Closure Prevention in Cats

Although not all forms of feline oronasal fistula can be prevented, keeping your cat’s teeth clean will aid in preventing periodontal disease and other conditions that cause this abnormality. Routinely scheduled teeth cleaning and proper at-home care will aid in the prevention of a necessary oronasal fistula closure.