How To Remove A Four-Pound Hairball From A 400-Pound Tiger

Ty the tigerTy the tiger before surgery at BluePearl Veterinary Partners specialty and emergency hospital in Clearwater, Fla., Wednesday.

Ty the tiger had a tummy problem. His caregivers couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t eating.

Ty is 17 years old and lives in Florida at Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in Seminole, Fla. — a non-profit that cares for animals that have been seized by law enforcement.

When he stopped eating, he was taken to veterinarian Brian Luria, who took a look down his throat with a camera and took X-rays and ultrasounds of the big cat’s belly.

The tests showed a huge hairball, and Luria knew he had to call in the big guns — veterinary surgeon Mike Reems of BluePearl Veterinary Partners. He worked with Dr. Don Woodman of Animal Hospital of Northwood.

Before the surgery, Ty was having trouble eating. The hairball blocking his stomach was so large the veterinarians said he needed surgery.

Dr. Mike Reems scrubs in to remove Ty's hairball.

Ty the tiger on the operating table. He was put out and shaved before the doctors cut him open.

Here they are taking the huge hairball out of Ty's stomach.

The giant hairball was about the size of a basketball.

It weighed four pounds.

After the successful removal of the giant hairball, the surgeons close Ty back up.

Ty is doing well with his recovery.

Ty's doctors tell local media about the successful surgery.

Tigers may soon be extinct, but there could be hope to one day reverse that.

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