When I've had dogs with ear infections (foster dogs), the vet told me to clean daily with a solution of vinegar and water (i'm using 1 part apple cider vinegar, 2 parts water), and we clean gently with sterile gauze. She thought the alcohol solutions are too painful for a dog with bleeding stuff in the ears (makes sense to me!!!). We had to follow up daily with Otomax (RX ointment) for a while too.
If there's an infection, you definitely want the vet to prescribe something to knock it out -- this does require a vet visit, as others have mentioned.
The vinegar solution has been great at clearing out yeasty, crusty gunk from a senior foster dog who lived outside and had years of grime caked in her ears. It's gentle enough for daily cleaning and she actually likes it instead of fussing about it hurting. We are finally seeing some nice pink skin peaking through all the black crusties! Woohoo!!!
You might ask your vet if this is an option.
Last edited by Magwart; 01-03-2014 at 06:07 PM.