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Panic Attack From The Smell Of Lamb Cooking


Guest Murffee1
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Guest Murffee1

My 4 year-old greyhound Bryndel had another panic attack yesterday as we were cooking lamb in the house. We have had Bryndel for about 3 months and this is the second time we have cooked lamb since we got him. Both times, he had panic attacks. He seems to get disoriented, starts panting, refuses to acknowledge us and runs downstairs to hide. He will refuse to go back upstairs. We literally have to carry him back upstairs. He stares straight ahead and will not eat (even his favorite treats). Both times that this has happened, it lasted for about 24 hours before he completely calms down. If we take him out in the backyard, he will start walking around the deck and look upwards. The first time that it happened we took him to the Vet to have him checked out but nothing was out of sorts.

 

We weren't entirely sure it was the lamb cooking until it happened this 2nd time. Has anybody heard of this problem or experienced something similar? We would appreciate any help you can offer.

 

Thanks

Richard

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I'm sure others will chime in, but yes, this is a thing. If you Google it I believe I remember reading an explanation about a compound in the meat that might be causing the reaction. I honestly don't know that there's anything you can do except not cook lamb. With most reactions I would recommend counter-conditioning and desensitization, but that would be very difficult in this situation. I suggest you order the lamb a lot when you go out to eat. ;)

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Strangely enough, this is "a thing," but it doesn't seem to have a clear cut medical basis. Some people theorize that the breakdown of the fatty tissue releases some type of chemical compound that affects dogs neurologically. Others say that the smell triggers a feeling of terror from a deeply-rooted herding instinct. If you Google the words "dog" and "smell of lamb cooking," there are a ton of results that come up.

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Here's the info on the chemical compound:

 

Minced lamb samples (lean meat or adipose tissue) from 12-week-old ram lambs and wethers were fried in the absence of added fat. The headspace aroma components were isolated onto Tenax GC prior to thermal desorption. A total of 132 compounds were identified and a further 31 were partially characterised by GC-MS, 49 of which are reported here for the first time as components of sheep meat aroma. One of these, 4,6-dimethyl-1,3-oxathiane , which has not previously been reported in any meat, was associated with a stale/wet animal odour.

 

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture Volume 69, Issue 4, pages 403413, December 1995 #9

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I learn something new everyday! This thread does remind me a bit of Silence of the Lambs. Brave Clarice. You will let me know when those lambs stop screaming, won't you? Sorry, just had to say it.

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Not to joke, but, the smell of lamb makes me very uncomfortable and I can't eat anything, myself, while it is cooking. I always thought it was the greasy smell, but, now I see it is possible to be something else.

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This happened to a friend's hound. I didn't realize it was "a thing" either. I've never cooked lamb but tried to feed it raw & none of my hounds would ever eat it. Very interesting.

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Yes, it is a 'thing'. It seems to be reasonably rare, but it happens. It's also NOT confined to lamb. I've read accounts which say that their dogs are terrified when horsemeat is cooking, or when goat is cooking. We don't notice those two so much, because horse and goat meat are really not eaten much the UK. I'm guessing not in the US either.

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This is fascinating. I had never heard of this phenomenon. It makes me try to carefully recall if we had ever been cooking lamb when Dazzle would have her very unsettling "I see dead people" episodes. I honestly can't recall. I never did figure out what triggered that.

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My Gracie screamed and ran around frantically the first time I cooked goat meat. She screamed like I was killing the goat right in front of her. It was rather bloody though fresh from the farmers' market. It took several hours for her to calm down.

 

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I cooked lamb this evening. All that happened here was that two dogs became rather excited hoping to get a taste of some! Any scraps which were tossed their way disappeared faster than you could snap your fingers! The smell inconvenienced them not at all.

But I am not cooking goat or horse. Not even in the spirit of experimentation.

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We have cooked lamb somewhat frequently, with no noticeable effect on any of the various dogs we've had over the years. But the description of the OP's dog's behavior seems similar to what happened when Dazzle "saw dead people" as we called it. Acted weirdly spooked at nothing in particular, like she was seeing ghosts. So I was trying to recall if we had cooked lamb at any of those times. I don't think so though. Too bad, because it would have eased my mind knowing there was a tangible reason.

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~Aimee, with Flower, Alan, Queenie, & Spodee Odee! And forever in my heart: Tipper, Sissy, Chancy, Marla, Dazzle, Alimony, and Boo. This list is too damned long.

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Guest Murffee1

I like the expression"seeing dead people". That was the look in Bryndel's eyes. I was reluctant to even touch him but I did to try and calm him down. He was still acting a little strange this morning but he is much better this afternoon. Maybe the couple of walks in 15 degree cold help snap him out of it.

 

At any rate, I will not cook lamb in the house again. I will also stay away from horse meat and goat(not that I would ever eat those anyway). By the way...Bryndel would not touch the raw lamb but he actually like eating the cooked lamb. How he could be afraid of the smell but still eat it is beyond me.

 

Thanks everybody.

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Guest chickenpotpie

I have never heard of such a thing, and thankfully Lucky has never exhibited such behavior. (we eat lamb and goat quite a bit)

 

This is very beneficial information though!

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Very strange. Never knew this.

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With Gracie's screaming reaction the goat meat was fresh. It was grounded meat and rather bloody. Perhaps she smelled the blood. Normally I wouldn't eat goat meat but the farmers' market vendor raised the goats and also sold goat milk and cheese.

 

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Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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Weird!!

But now I'm glad we never eat lamb!

 

And their blended mix of raw food does not have lamb in it. Whew.

 

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I have never come across this, Johnny loves lamb raw or cooked.

 

Btw. Cooking the lamb will change the taste and the smell which is probably why he was happy to eat it when it was cooked.

 

The only really odd reaction to a smell that I have ever come across was with my Scully, he was absolutely terrified of my landlady who came to visit from Canada, we eventually decided it must be because she had pet Ferrets....even though Scully had never met a Ferret.

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Wow - I learn the most amazing things on GT! I'm glad others posted before I saw this because I'd have said there's no way the smell of meat cooking could freak a dog out.

 

Huh. Guess I have a lot to learn. I've never cooked lamb but now I kind want to test it out!

 

A lot of dogfood has lamb in it but I'm assuming that once it's fully cooked the issue is gone, so no biggie from cooked-elsewhere lamb, or cooked and dried in dogfood? We've used lamb dogfood without issue.

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Wow. I have never heard of this. Truthfully, even as a omnivore, lamb is something I'm not comfortable eating, so it will never be an issue for me. I would have guessed it was the SOUND of the meat sizzling, but you learn something new every day!


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