Tiger's basketball-sized hairball

FEELING BETTER: Ty the tiger is recovering well from the operation.
FEELING BETTER: Ty the tiger is recovering well from the operation.

It's not unusual for a cat to get a hairball, but a 181kg tiger in the US needed help from veterinary surgeons in Florida when he couldn't hack up a basketball-sized hairball by himself.

The 17-year-old tiger named Ty underwent the procedure at a veterinary centre in the Tampa Bay area community of Clearwater. Doctors said in a statement that they safely removed the 1.8kg obstruction from Ty's stomach.

The tiger, which is cared for by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in Seminole, was brought to veterinarians after not eating for nearly two weeks. Doctors said they detected the hairball using a scope with a camera.

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

BETTER OUT THAN IN: The hairball surgeons removed from the tiger's stomach.
BETTER OUT THAN IN: The hairball surgeons removed from the tiger's stomach.

AP