DETROIT, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A Michigan canine blood bank is calling on dogs and their owners to help make up a shortage of dog blood, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday.
The shortage is so severe that veterinarians nationwide are often unable to perform life-saving surgeries and other medical treatments for dogs.
Oakland Veterinary Referral Services near Detroit says a greyhound and a Labrador retriever recently donated blood that saved Sibley, a gravely ill American Eskimo that is now on the mend.
The service has performed 350 transfusions and supplied 60 Michigan vets with dog blood this year.
Nationwide, there are six commercial canine blood banks that usually have waiting periods of six to eight weeks, said James Thompson, blood bank coordinator at the Oakland facility.
New advances in veterinary medicine and the willingness of dog owners to keep their pets alive and healthy have increased demand for transfusions.
Blood is most often needed in treating immune disorders, abdominal masses and cancers, Thompson said.