There is a drug that can be used to treat phantom pain (nerve "zaps") in these cases, that you might want to explore with the vet. It's called Gabapentin, and worth a shot.
As for amputation, I understand how scary it is to contemplate. I have a tripod dog (missing a front leg) and she's just fine, animals recover very very quickly from amputations...Jaida was Sprinting
around the yard three weeks after the surgery. They're not like people, they don't feel sorry for themselves or understand that something's "wrong"...they just adapt and get on with their lives. There is absolutely NO
reduction in quality of life. My dog runs, plays, shakes a paw, enjoys the company of people and other dogs...she is perfectly normal.
Her quality of life is in fact BETTER now than before her surgery, as her leg was causing her pain and impairing her mobility...the "bad" leg reduced her quality of life, not the surgery.
Solomon - black DSH - king of kitchen raids (11)
Gracie - Mutterooski X - scary smart (9)
Jaida - GSD - tripod trainwreck and gentle soul (4)
Heidi - mugsly Boston Terrier X - she is in BIG trouble!!! (3)
Audrey - torbie - sweet as pie (11 months)
Patrick - blue - a little turd (but we like him anyways) (6 months)
Boo, our Matriarch (August 1 1992 - March 29 2011)