A sinocutaneous or nasocutaneous fistula is usually a sequel to a comminuted fracture of one or more facial bones, whereas an oronasal or oromaxillary sinus fistula occurs most commonly after a maxillary alveolus fails to fill with healthy granulation tissue after its tooth has been lost. Horses with a sinocutaneous or nasocutaneous fistula can be treated by covering the fistula with transposed muscle, which in turn is covered by adjacent skin or a free skin graft, or by covering the fistula with periosteum transposed from adjacent bone, itself covered by adjacent skin or left uncovered to heal by second intention. Horses with an oronasal or oromaxillary sinus fistula can usually be treated successfully by temporarily occluding the oral aspect of the fistula, to prevent feed from entering the fistula, until the apical end of the alveolus fills with healthy tissue. Other methods of treatment include covering the oral aspect of the fistula with a mucoperiosteal flap or filling the fistula with a transposed facial muscle.
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