Pet food for thought

Fremantle Gazette - - BOOKS - Tanya MacNaughto­n

DR Clare Mid­dle’s vet­eri­nar­ian ed­u­ca­tion did not end in 1979 when she grad­u­ated as part of the first class of vets from the then-newly opened Mur­doch Univer­sity.

“The course at Mur­doch Univer­sity was brand-new, in­no­va­tive and ex­cel­lent, but still I could see there were con­di­tions we had not been taught how to treat ad­e­quately,” she said.

“An acupunc­ture course be­came avail­able for vets, which I took in 1981, so I have been us­ing acupunc­ture for nearly 40 years to treat many dif­fer­ent con­di­tions, but mainly pain and lame­ness.”

Home­opa­thy was the next com­ple­men­tary medicine added to Mid­dle’s prac­tice af­ter she found how help­ful it was to treat her chil­dren’s med­i­cal con­di­tions.

“I al­ways say that once I had ex­per­i­mented on my chil­dren, I re­alised that home­opa­thy was safe and ef­fec­tive for us­ing on an­i­mals,” she said.

In 1992, Mid­dle bought the third vet clinic she had worked at, East Fre­man­tle Vet Clinic, which be­came the first in Perth to of­fer a range of nat­u­ral ther­a­pies.

An in­ter­est in an­i­mal nutrition in­spired Mid­dle to write a brochure called Nat­u­ral Diet for Dogs and Cat af­ter see­ing how a for­mu­lated bal­anced fresh food diet im­proved many health con­di­tions in dogs and cats.

“Soon I was giv­ing more in­for­ma­tion than could fit on the A4 piece of paper, so I wrote a self-pub­lished book,” she said.

“A year later in 2008, Fre­man­tle Press pub­lished it ‘prop­erly’ and it has sold from book­shops and many other busi­nesses since.”

Hav­ing moved on from her clinic in 2004, Mid­dle now lives in Balin­gup and has writ­ten a re­vised edi­tion of the book, Real Food for Dogs and Cats, a prac­ti­cal and easy-to-fol­low guide to giv­ing pets the nutrition they need.

“We do have more re­search to show that a ‘species ap­pro­pri­ate’ diet is ideal, which was not around when I first wrote the book,” Mid­dle said.

“Nat­u­ral diet and natur­o­pathic treat­ments have a high rate of suc­cess in in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease, kid­ney and liver dis­ease, arthri­tis, uri­nary tract in­fec­tion, cancer pal­li­a­tion and many other con­di­tions.”

Real Food for Dogs and Cats is avail­able now.

Dr Clare Mid­dle.

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