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Do peppermints cause ulcers?

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  • Do peppermints cause ulcers?

    Do peppermints (the soft puff ones) cause or irritate ulcers if given frequently (1 or 2 per day)? Any reason not to feed peppermints as treats?
    “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

    !! is the new .

  • #2
    Peppermint oil can aggravate acid reflux because I believe it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. But reflux is NOT THE SAME THING as ulcers.

    My philosophy on itty bitty treats is that, in the grand scheme of things, they are harmless.

    My ulcer-prone boy gets peppermint TUMS, so that's an option for the mint-loving horse if you're worried.
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    • #3
      I have heard that peppermints can cause a horse to test positive (for something?) when drug tested at shows. I asked the show vet and was told that peppermints CAN test but only when given in very large amounts. For whatever that's worth--and slightly off the subject.

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      • #4
        I've never heard of this. The last I'd heard, peppermint was actually more on the stomach-soothing side. Deltawave, that's very interesting.
        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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        Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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        • #5
          I used to treat with peppermints but now I buy a packet of mini wheat bix with fruit bits in them and she just Looooves them! Will do all her carrot stretches for them.

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          • #6
            Well, a lot of old "stomach remedies" were peppermint flavored. They were also about 150 proof!
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            • #7
              Originally posted by deltawave View Post
              Well, a lot of old "stomach remedies" were peppermint flavored. They were also about 150 proof!
              The Irish horse would probably be okay with that.

              Learn something new every day, anyway. Peppermint tea still works for me- but who knows if that's the peppermint, the tea, the warm, or the whatever.
              "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

              Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
              Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                Peppermint oil can aggravate acid reflux because I believe it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. But reflux is NOT THE SAME THING as ulcers.

                My philosophy on itty bitty treats is that, in the grand scheme of things, they are harmless.

                My ulcer-prone boy gets peppermint TUMS, so that's an option for the mint-loving horse if you're worried.
                hmmm...my Mother works for an ENT and she said the exact opposite--which is why we find mints at restaurants on the way out the door...
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                http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

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                • #9
                  The conventional wisdom on peppermint oil is a very mixed bag. It is often used for dyspepsia (sour stomach, etc.) with much anecdotal success, but the fact remains that it can decrease the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter, thereby theoretically worsening reflux.

                  Since not everyone with dyspepsia has actual, anatomical reflux, it'seasy to see how confusing this is--most of the terms we use for general GI symptoms are not exactly anatomically correct.

                  I always thought you grabbed a mint in the restaurant because you'd eaten too much yummy, garlicky, oniony, olive-oil laden Italian food.
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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Hmm, so safe to give occasionally? or safer to just not give at all?
                    “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

                    !! is the new .

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                    • #11
                      ***(smarta$$ answer of the day)***
                      Peppermints don't cause ulcers, horses do!
                      (Sorry if someone beat me to it)
                      "Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of passions." David Hume

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                      • #12
                        I wouldn't bother giving them at all, because there are better, nicer things for a horse - all the human fruity cereal products spring to mind - I'm on Kashi Berry Blossoms at the moment I worry about the sugar content in mints for ulcer ponies, and if there's no sugar, I worry about the nasty sugar alternatives like aspartame that give me instant headaches and runny tummy - I definitely won't be giving those to ulcer-pony !

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                        • #13
                          This was what my vet told me while I when I was treating a horse for SEVERE (god her stomach looks like the Jersey Shore) ulcers.

                          Peppermint oil itself is not bad for the stomach. The problem is in the sugar the mints are laced with. Sugars (like molasses in sweet feed) lowers the ph of the stomach causing an irritation to the ulcers itself (thing of pouring acid on an open would).
                          That said, two mints won't kill them, but while I had a confirmed case of ulcers that I was treating, the mints came after the ride along with some alfalfa cubes to combat the PH lowering. If you are looking for something before or during a ride, try mint flavored tums, which will also help to raise the PH in the stomach, therefore making the ride more comfortable as the horse is moving and its stomach contents are sloshing around as well...

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                          • #14
                            Sugar cannot lower stomach pH as its own pH is MUCH higher than that of the stomach. A diet high in sugars can impact HINDGUT pH, perhaps, but would have no impact whatsoever on stomach pH, which is down around 2-3 all by itself. Kind of hard to make it any lower, short of feeding the beasts pure hydrochloric acid.
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