Oh, I wish I had read this sooner!
Please don't hesitate to call me when you have things like this happen!! I may not always have the right answers, but I have some...and I know about ear infections.
As a matter of fact, Lexie was the first. We have wet winters here and Lexie's ears are not nearly as long and furry as our others' ears, but one day she was lying on her side with her ear flap opened and I gasped! Looked like dried blood all over! I knew that she had a "scent" to her, but thought she needed a bath. (Now I know that "scent" and smell my dog's ears regularly.)
Anyway...her infection was really bad too, and it was yeast...all of the meds did not help much until the vet gave her a shot of something...dang...I can't recall what it was! (I am sure your vet would know...or let me know and I can give you my old vet's contact info to find out.)
Anyway, almost immediately, the infection cleared up and she has never had one since! Rosie also got a bad yeast infection, so I took her right in and insisted that they give her the shot in addition to the other meds...they did and the next day she was well!
No need for them to suffer when they can get that shot!
About ear hair plucking...I am soooooo against that...not that I am saying your vet was wrong...under these circumstances, it may have been necessary....but I have found that if you clean and dry the dog's ears, the hair is not a problem. If it starts to look matted, I clip it down...but I don't pluck because, to me, it is opening another way for infection to enter...AND it would be painful to use an alcohol or vinegar based cleaner on freshly plucked ears...ouch!
Many people do pluck the ear hair. I believe that it serves a purpose. In fact, there have been many times where the hair has stopped things like burrs or twigs from getting into the ears.
I would suggest that you work with her paws and ears regularly...I know how hard that can be!
I use Veterinarian's Best Natural Care ...it comes with an Ear Relief Wash AND has a second product that is a gel that turns into a powder to dry out the ears. I use them together.
When cleaning ears, I wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft paper towell...it's okay to put these things down into the canal becase it is deep and your fingers are too large to put it close to the ear drum. After the wash, I massage...they LOVE that...and then dry with cotton balls and then put in the powder gel. I just rub that in. They absolutely love it. And it smells good!
Please call me! Don't worry about waking me up, or "bugging" me...I love little Abby too and will give you the best advice I can give.
If you have lost my number, send a PM (PM button below) and I'll send it to you.
But, don't fret...this is natural...especially in the wet seasons and if they swim...