Caroline made a second trip to K-State on Wednesday because she is suffering from another sinus infection. Her final diagnosis is an oronasal fistula. This is a hole that goes from the mouth into the nasal cavity. Usually these are caused by periodontal disease, but based on the location of hers, it is believed that it is congenital. It’s right in the middle of the soft palate in the roof of her mouth.
After researching the condition, it makes complete sense with all of her symptoms. Constant sneezing, difficulty grooming, slightly underweight and dehydrated. She sits at the water bowl lapping up water and the water comes right back out her nose. The few times she’s gotten soft food, the snot that comes out of her nose is brown.
The only permanent course of treatment is grafting tissue into the hole to prevent food and water from traveling between her nose and mouth. The alternative to not doing surgery is to continue to just treat her sinus infections. And as long as I’ve had her (3 months) she’s only really been healthy for about 2 weeks between rounds of antibiotics. The final outcome would be that she would eventually have an infection that antibiotics won’t be able to treat. Surgery is really her only option to make her healthy and adoptable.
The estimate for the surgery is $1,200. This assumes she would not need additional surgeries. The vet and my online research both advised me that repeat surgeries are a serious possibility with this type of graft. Tissue doesn’t establish well in the mouth due to limited blood flow and constant exposure to bacteria. She would have an esophageal feeding tube for a few weeks after the surgery to minimize the graft’s exposure to bacteria.
The cat foster coordinater will present this estimate to the board to see if they will approve the surgery. My fingers are crossed. Caroline is such a wonderful girl and deserves every chance she can get to be adopted. She has met 11 other cats since being in our home and is friendly to all of them. She doesn’t hiss or bat at them. Just remains as cool as a cucumber. She always greets me when I enter the room and loves to be petted. She will curl up next to me on the bed and knead and purr the whole time. She has the calmest, gentlest demeanor I have ever seen in a kitty.
Keep your fingers crossed that Caroline’s surgery gets approved! If you’re interested in donating to her surgery, donations will be taken by Riley County Humane Society.