I started hosing him off, and couldn't find any injury. The bleeding seemed to have slowed, but where had it come from? Thankfully, it certainly wasn't a bear, or even wild dogs. I finally realized there was only one tiny little spot - tucked way up under his back legs. How on earth did he get injured there?
The vet made it out a few hours later, and the bleeding had slowed significantly by then. Phoenix was awesome - he was so gentle that he didn't have to be sedated. The vet was able to numb the area and scrub it, then he put in several staples. It turned out that the injury, small as it was, had nicked an artery - hence all the crazy bleeding. The vet said in all his years, he had never seen an injury up in that area. We wondered if he had backed into a stake-sharp stick in the pasture somewhere? There doesn't seem to be any other suitable explanation.
Phoenix was current on his tetanus, so all he needed was a long acting antibiotic shot and he was good to go. In a couple of weeks, I'll remove his staples, if they haven't fallen out. I was relieved it wasn't more serious.
Photo taken at the NC Zoo last month.