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This study was initiated to investigate the influence of a daily dose of anionic salts (AS) above the valid upper limit at present on metabolism of dairy cows. Eleven non-pregnant and non-lactating Holstein-Friesian crossbred cows with a permanent rumen cannula were used in a study with a controlled feeding design. The initial daily dose was 2500 meq/day, which resulted in a Dietary Cation Anion Difference (DCAD) of -211 meq/kg dry matter. Every seven days,the daily dose was raised by 500 meq. If a cow stopped eating, the application of AS was stopped and these cows were monitored over the next seven days. On day 30 another batch of hay, having the same DCAD but higher concentrations of minerals and energy, was fed. Blood and urine samples were taken to monitor acid-base balance and calcium concentrations. Acid-base balance was strongly influenced by AS. Blood pH dropped steadily and reached values around 7.23. Urine pH dropped quickly below 6 and remained at that level regardless of the increased dosage of AS. Net acid base excretion (NABE) fell continuously with the increase of the dosage of AS and reached values below -200 mmol/l. Calcium concentrations in the serum were nearly stable, but those in urine increased sharply and remained on an elevated level with increasing doses of AS. A few days before the individual cow's refusal of feed intake, calcium excretion in urine decreased. The majority of cows stopped eating while consuming a diet containing 3500 to 4000 meq AS except two animals who consumed up to 6000 meq/day AS but they received the better hay in the second half of the treatment period. In this time pH in blood increased slowly. NABE remained stable on a low level at -100 mmol/l. The results showed that with an increasing amount of AS fed the risk of clinical acidosis increased. The decreasing urine concentrations of calcium indicate a breakdown of the compensation capability of the single cow. Besides the dose of AS fed, the quality of the feed stuff might be another factor concerning the tolerance of cows against AS.