Kelly, I have to admit that I feel like a proud "Auntie" that Georgia made it to TMZ and in People!!!! I think she is indeed "Wonder Woman" and you know I love that photo. Congratulations!!! "Our" little girl is famous.
Sharlyn, if you take a moment and read through this entire thread, you will find that the discussions are about the disease, and not just Cavaliers. Since I'm the one who started this thread four years ago, and since I have a Cavalier, naturally a lot of people with Cavaliers have visited and contributed.
There are also contributions from people living with Chiari as well as many other dogs, of various breeds (mostly anything very tiny, or "teacup") who all need to find the same answers.
An MRI is a crucial diagnostic tool for your dog. I do realize it is expensive, but there are places that do them for a reasonable cost, or if one is fortunate enough, as I was, there are often ongoing studies which again mitigate the cost of an MRI. Oliver has had two, and it only cost me $600.00.
He did NOT have any surgery, nor would he as it is extremely expensive with very little guaranteed outcome. Originally he started on the Gabapentin but did terribly on it. It took us about a year or so, to find the right balance of medication for him. Yes, it is very expensive. Last summer, he was diagnosed with Heart Disease (common in Cavaliers as well) and I spend approximately $300.00 every six weeks on his medication alone. He has been living with this illness, or has been diagnosed with it, for the past four years.
Oliver will be 9 in December, God willing. When I started this thread, there was very little information available on the internet. Many, many wonderful people have contributed articles and new findings over time, so this is a great "one stop shop" to garner a lot of information, as well as find links to other information.
SM can't be properly diagnosed without an MRI. Oliver also has a "head tilt". I'm sorry that your little dog was recently diagnosed, but please don't lose hope. You need to see a Canine Neurologist, and find a way to have that MRI. I don't remember if you said where you live. I'm in southern Ontario, Canada. If there is a University near you (within 100 miles) that specializes in Veterinary Medicine, or Medicine even, you may be able to obtain an MRI there at a much reduced rate, when the time is right.
Best wishes to you, and by all means, please do not feel that this is a "Cavalier" thread. I just happen to have 2 of them, and the SM/CM has become more well known within this breed of late. You are most welcome here.