Four-Pound Hairball Removed From Ty the Tiger's Stomach

Ty is a 17-year-old tiger, cared for by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc. in San Antonio, Texas

Thursday, May 23, 2013  |  Updated 8:55 AM PDT
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Ty before surgery.

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It's not unusual for a cat to get a hairball, but a 400-pound tiger needed help from veterinary surgeons in Florida when he couldn't hack up a basketball-size hairball by himself.

Ty the tiger underwent surgery on Wednesday to remove the 4-pound matted mass.

Ty, a 17-year-old tiger, was brought to the veterinarian on Monday after refusing to eat for about two weeks.

Veterinarian Dr. Brian Luria took X-rays, performed an ultrasound and then used a scope with a camera to find the hairball, pictured below.

Ty is cared for by non-profit organization Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc. in Seminole, Fla. He was operated on at the BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Clearwater, Fla.

Vernon Yates, whose nonprofit group regularly assists law enforcement agencies with seized animals, says he's thankful the hairball was removed and Ty is doing fine.

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