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Surgeons Remove Tiger’s Basketball-Sized Hairball

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Vets removed a basketball-sized hairball from Ty the tiger's stomach.  (Source: CBS4)

Vets removed a basketball-sized hairball from Ty the tiger’s stomach. (Source: CBS4)

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CLEARWATER (CBSMiami/AP) – It’s not unusual for cats to get hairballs, but when a 400-pound ‘kitty’ developed one the size of a basketball, he needed some special help to get rid of it.

The ‘kitty’, a 17-year old tiger named Ty, which is cared for by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in Seminole, was brought to veterinarians in Clearwater after not eating for nearly two weeks.

Doctors said they detected the four pound hairball using a scope with a camera.

“His tongue works as everything, it’s his comb, it’s everything,” said Vernon Yates of Wildlife Rescue and Rehab. “All that he ate, it basically built up and for some reason its decided to stop up in him.”

One Wednesday Ty went under the knife and hairball was successfully removed.

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.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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