***Update: 4/20/22 The consult** Any one have experience with an oronasal fistula?

So Smudge Kitty has had a runny, nasty snotty nose for a week, No appts at vet office but finally get her in today and vet tells me she has an oronasal fistula. What the hell. Great.

I can’t look at it because she won’t let me and vet could not get a good look either because SOMEone developed some tortitude - something she has been lacking before. So I have to bring her in so she can be sedated and have it looked at better and a plan for repair or whatever can be developed.

I’m surprised that when she had her dental visit in April (some teeth removed and others cleaned) that the vet did not mention this. I mean, it was probably there at the time as she has had this off and on snotty nose issue for some time that no other vet could get a handle on.

I’m wondering how common this is? How could this have gone undetected for so long? Now what? And what is this going to cost me? Does she need to eat special food? Toss some jingles this way for Miss Smudge.

No experience (yet) but sending lots of jingles. I have renamed my three Debit, Credit, and Paycheck.


I’m not familiar with it but I hope the visit goes well and it can be treated easily.

Jingles for Smudge!!

Jingles for Miss Smudge. So sorry you both are dealing with this. Out of curiosity I googled this
and learned way more than I needed to know including pics of the surgery to repair.

Apparently this is not all that uncommon and may be caused by many different scenarios.
I didn’t see anything about the cost of treatment but saw several mentions of feeding soft food
to try and help the fistula to heal and not get caught in the trough/hole.
One article mentioned sometimes a course of antibiotics is used initially to try and get the fistula to heal before doing surgery.
Fingers crossed for you and Smudge.

Is bilateral or unilateral nasal discharge? Did she have upper canines extracted in April? Did they do dental radiographs?

Oronasal fistulas aren’t horribly uncommon in dogs (dachshunds specifically are almost guaranteed to get them if preventive dental care isn’t done throughout their life), more uncommon in cats.

Were there any other differentials discussed? It very well might be an oronasal fistulas, but it could be polyps in the nasal cavity, tumor, rhinitis or sinusitis brought on by viral infection, fungal infection or immune mediated.

A sedated oral exam is never a bad place to start no matter the cause.


Unilateral nasal discharge from left nostril. Fistula is on right side of her mouth. She had some rotten teeth removed in April and they did not do x-rays (if only I had known what was coming I would have had them done but hindsight…oh well) She’s had this discharge for a long time and I believed - as did every vet she encountered that it was “just” a URI. So this hole may have been there for awhile now and her teeth made it worse. I can’t get her in til we finish the anti-biotics - they gave her clavamox but I think we may have to switch to clindamyacin as it is better for mouth/tooth problems. And even then my vet is booked out til early September and they are closing on weekends. (My weekend vet has medical issues and has to take extended time off once a year.)

@Marla_100 - I looked around and saw that stuff, too so I am re-assured this is not a complicated fix but still it’s kind of overwhelming. Especially right after Oliver and his issues.

So Smudge has been on anti-biotics since Sunday and there is no improvement. In fact, she now has clear discharge from the other nostril. She still won’t eat voluntarily so am still force feeding her. Which we both hate but well, it has to be done. She isn’t going to starve to death on my watch.

Plus she threw up her breakfast and what appeared to be most, if not all, of last night’s dinner. The vomit also had large clumps of hair in it. ??? Dinner was Tiki cat chicken mousse and breakfast was Friskies turkey. Both bland so wth? I waited awhile and tried to give her some baby food but that got chucked up as well. If I could have stayed home I would have waited a bit then tried again and barring that, taken her to the vet. Left a message for the vet but they have not got back to me.

I did get a very good look at that hole in her mouth and it - to me - is clearly a hole where a tooth was. It’s about the size of a smallish nail head and appears to have been there for some time. Still wondering how or why this was missed at every other vet she has been to.

Jingles, please. I am very worried.

Jingling hard and fingers crossed for Smudge. :crossed_fingers: You really need a break and some good luck! Maybe the antibiotic is messing with her stomach?


I have a dim memory that one of my cats reacted badly to one particular antibiotic, losing his appetite so predictably and to such an extent that I would specify to the vet that I needed another antibiotic if there were a choice - and I think it was Clavamox that caused the problem. Was she eating on her own before she started the Clavamox?

Fingers crossed that she stabilizes so that she’s reasonably comfortable until the fistula can be addressed! Ugh on having to wait so long for your vet’s availability.

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I think I will switch to clindamyacin. Poor little wretch.

We are short a vet in this county. One guy passed away and that was sad as he was very helpful and kind. I was talking to my other vet and his tech was saying there is a statewide shortage of vets here in CA. Yikes! Smudge’s vet is down to one guy - the second vet is on family leave and the other takes a medical leave. Any one want to move to lovely central coast Ca? lol

Agree that the Clavamox can be hard on them. I would ask the vet about switching to the clindamycin.

Massive jingles for Smudge and for you. :heart:

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Sudden thought - could this be pus? It looks like it but does not smell like it. But with that hole and maybe food or god knows what else in there…who knows, right?

From what my vet told me, it’s not just in CA. He said when he was in vet school, there were several people trying for every vet job. Now, vets can have their pick of jobs and there aren’t enough vets to fill all the vacancies.

Hope Smudge can go to the vet tomorrow and they’ll be able to help her feel better.

Called vet this AM and they will prescribe her something else which I will pick up tomorrow.

She seemed more cheerful last night and actually greeted me at the door, which she rarely does, and nibbled a bit on her own at her dinner but still had to be fed the rest of it. She kept that down and breakfast and is starting to seem more like her little self. Still draining crap from her nose. I wish I could work from home and feed her smaller meals more frequently. Sadly, not an option and I have to be out of the house for 11 hrs.

I wonder why people don’t want to be vets anymore? That’s sad to me.


more jingles for YOU and Smudge.

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Jingles for Smudge and hugs for you!

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How’s Smudge? I hope the other medication is helping.

Due to my schedule and the vet’s new schedule I have not been able to pick up new meds. I have to wait til Tuesday. I had to call Friday and ask if it was ready and was told it would be ready by 5p. I don’t get off work til 9p and get home by 10p. And now they are only open T-F because the husband and wife veterinarians are taking all of August and September for their new baby.

As for Smudge she isn’t getting better but she is not worse either. I actually found some things she will eat voluntarily so that’s good and she remains very chipper. Today I have been able to get at least 3 small meals into her and will be able to get 2 more in before bed. I have to sched a time when I can have a serious conversation with the vet about what the plan is for her.

Thank you for asking!!


So Smudge was started on amoxicillin and it seems to be helping but the progress is quite slow. My main problem now is that she is refusing to eat anything at all. I have tried all kinds of tempting treats and food and - nope. She looks at it and walks off. So we are back to force feeding her. Which we both hate.

Plus, she has fleas. Everyone in the house has fleas. How? They aren’t allowed outside and have no contact with any other cat or person besides me. The only thing I can think of is the day she stayed at the vet office. Maybe she got them there because it sure seemed to start after that. Flea meds enrt, should arrive this week so I can get this under control.

I am very frustrated by this turn of events. Before we started the amoxicillin she would eat never mind how yucky her nose got. But now? I’m tired and feel like I’m getting my ass kicked. Again. 2021 has not been kind to me on the pet front.

Keep jingling for Smudge.

Could the Amoxicillin be upsetting her stomach and that is why she does not want to eat?

Does the vet have any ideas on that pat?


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