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Tiger Receives Surgery to Remove Giant Hairball

Update Date: May 23, 2013 09:31 AM EDT

Cats, regardless of their size, are known for coughing up hairballs due to their grooming routines. Even though cats can normally deal with hairballs on their own by coughing them up, hairballs that are stuck can cause serious damages, such as blockages. In one of the largest cases of hairballs, Ty the Tiger from the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc based in Seminole, FL underwent invasive surgery in order to remove a thick mass of hair from his stomach.

Ty, a 17-year-old tiger, was first brought to veterinarian, Dr. Brian Luria this past Monday. Ty, who weighs 400 pounds, had stopped eating his food for two weeks. He received x-rays and an ultrasound initially. Luria then used a camera scope and located the exact problem that Ty was suffering from, a massive basketball sized hairball. Ty was then sent to BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Clearwater, FL where he was operated on this past Wednesday. The doctors removed the giant hairball that weighed a little over four pounds.

The doctors believe that Ty will have a swift recovery. The founder of the Rehabilitation center, Vernon Yates, was happy to hear that Ty would be okay.

"He's sort of like my biggest baby. This is my kid. This tiger means more to me than any cat that I have," Yates commented to News 13, Daily Mail reported.

The rehabilitation center is a non-profit group that helps with wild animals that have already been seized by the Florida government. The refuge takes animals with physical and emotional wounds and helps them recover. The center was opened in 1980.

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