About 9:30 last night, at their request, we turned all the dogs out into the backyard. When they came back inside ten minutes later, Gimpy's right shoulder was covered in blood. It took only seconds to determine that the blood was coming from a deep cut on the tip of his ear. We don't know for sure what happened, but the most likely scenario is that Levi grabbed Gimpy's ear while they were playing chase--which they do almost every time they go outside.
Gimpy didn't seem to be in pain. In fact, he didn't seem too concerned at all. Levi, on the other hand, could see the blood and was quite interested in what I was doing to his brother. He hovered over us with his big head in the way until Kim physically removed him so we could get Gimpy into the bathroom. The two of us washed and treated the cut and held the ear compressed in a towel while we washed all the blood off his fur. Just when we would think we had the bleeding stopped, it would start up again all of a sudden, over and over. If this had happened in the daytime, I would have worked on the cut awhile longer to see if we could avoid having to go get it stitched, but it was late. I finally decided to bite the expensive bullet and get the cut checked out by a vet.
Kim and I quickly got dressed (I threw clothes on over my pajamas), and Kim drove into Baton Rouge to the nearest emergency veterinarian while I sat in the backseat with Gimpy and held a clean white towel to his ear. By the time we got to the animal hospital, where there was enough light to check the cut again, the bleeding had stopped. In fact, there wasn't a single drop of blood on that towel. Gimpy must have stopped bleeding during the four or five minutes we were rushing around getting ready to leave the house. Isn't that typical? We briefly considered turning around and heading back home, but what the heck. We were already there; might as well let them have a look so we could be sure.
The veterinarian who checked Gimpy's ear was careful not to touch the wound. She told us dogs' ears are notorious for bleeding extensively. "Once you get the bleeding stopped," she said, "don't do anything to it. Don't touch it. Don't even look at it. Wait at least a couple of weeks, and then you can start working on washing the scab out of it." She did give (well, sell) us antibiotics for him: two big capsules, twice a day, for two weeks, so at least we don't have to worry about infection.
Gimpy seemed to consider the whole experience an adventure. First he enjoyed the exclusive attention of the two humans in the household. Later, he was the only dog at the animal hospital and wagged his tail happily while he explored every inch of the lobby, sniffing all the big plants and the various bags of specialty foods on their tall shelves, and made friendly overtures to the "other Goldendoodle" he could see, the one reflected in the glass doors of the entrance.
For the next couple of weeks we'll have to make sure to let Gimpy and Levi outside separately. I learned the hard way not to get between them when they're chasing one another, so we can't allow them to even start that game until Gimpy's ear is healed. They also chew each other's ears sometimes when they wrestle in the house, but I can put a quick end to wrestling without getting knocked down, so I will.
Sure wish they knew some less rowdy games.