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Pet Pals TV: How rickets can affect dogs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Each and every week, Pet Pals TV shares a fun, interesting and informative story about our four-legged and furry friend population.

This week, Patty Spitler, the host of “Pet Pals TV,” was joined by dog foster parent Megan Caccio and pet parent Jenni Bass, who shared the story of Betty, a pup with rickets.

Rickets is a rare disease in young animals, including dogs, that causes soft and deformed bones. It is often triggered by a diet lacking in phosphorous or vitamin D, but can also be caused by calcium deficiency. The cause of rickets is typically an imbalance in the ratio of calcium to phosphorous in the diet, according to Dr. Walter Grünberg.

When Caccio met Betty, the pup was not walking properly.

“I thought there was no way she was ever going to walk normally,” Caccio said. “She was walking on her elbows, and, like, when I first brought her home, my husband was like, ‘Did you bring home an alien? There’s no way.’ And I said, ‘I know. We’ve gotta have faith.’”

After taking Betty in, Caccio reached out to her friend, Jenni Bass, sending her updates about Betty’s progress.

“I didn’t realize [that] just proper nutrition and love could bring her to where she is now, in just a few weeks,” Bass said.

“Pet Pals TV” airs in Indianapolis at 8:30 a.m. Saturdays on MyINDY-TV 23, and at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays on WISH-TV and WHMB-TV. The show also airs on other U.S. stations, including ones in Fort Wayne, Lafayette, Terre Haute, and Louisville, Kentucky.