Tiger with Tummy Trouble Has 4-Pound Hairball Removed

TAMPA, Fla. – It’s a typical story of a cat with a hairball, only the cat weighs approximately 400 pounds, and the basketball-size hairball was too big to be removed without surgery.

The 17-year-old tiger named Ty underwent the procedure Wednesday afternoon at BluePearl Veterinary Partners specialty and emergency hospital in Clearwater.

Dr. Mike Reems, a board-certified surgeon from BluePearl Veterinary Partners and Dr. Don Woodman, owner of Animal Hospital of Northwood in Safety Harbor, performed the surgery to remove the 4 pound, feline, fur ball.

Ty was initially brought in Monday to see BluePearl internal medicine specialist, Dr. Brian Luria, after the tiger had not eaten for a little under two weeks.

Luria performed an ultrasound and took X-rays before using a scope with a camera to determine the problem, which appeared to be a giant hairball. Due to the size of the hairball, it was not possible to retrieve the obstruction using the scope, and surgery was selected as the preferred method.

Woodman and Reems, successfully removed the hairball, which weighed in at a little over 4 pounds.

“I’m just extremely thankful for the help Dr. Woodman, Dr. Reems and the staff at BluePearl provided,” said Vernon Yates, founder of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc., the organization who takes care of Ty.

Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc., was founded in 1980 and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that mainly serves by assisting Florida law enforcement with animals that have been seized.

Yates and Woodman are perhaps best known for being asked by the state of Florida to assist with capturing the Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay, a rhesus macaque who roamed the Tampa Bay area for nearly four years before being caught.

About BluePearl Veterinary Partners
Formed in 2008, BluePearl Veterinary Partners is headquartered in Tampa, Fla., and employs more than 1,200 people including approximately 250 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals are referral-only and don’t provide primary care. Most BluePearl hospitals offer 24-hour emergency care services. BluePearl is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship educational programs. BluePearl also participates in and conducts clinical trials to study the effectiveness of new drugs and treatments, which give clients access to cutting-edge medicine not yet commercially available and improves the quality of care delivered to our patients.