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A five-year cohort study was conducted on bitches chosen by a sample of 233 randomly selected practising veterinary surgeons in the UK, to estimate the incidence of acquired urinary incontinence (AUI) in neutered and entire animals, and to investigate possible risk factors associated with neutering practices. Information was collected using questionnaires, and data on 809 bitches, of which 22 developed AUI, were obtained. The estimated incidence rates in neutered and entire animals were 0·0174 and 0·0022 per animal-year, respectively (95 per cent confidence intervals: 0·0110, 0·0275 and 0·0009, 0·0058, respectively). The relative risk, neutered vs entire, was 7·8 (95 per cent confidence interval: 2·6, 31·5). The attributable proportionexposed and population attributable proportion were 87·1 per cent and 63·1 per cent (95 per cent confidence intervals: 61·9 per cent, 95·6 per cent, and 28·3 per cent, 88·5 per cent, respectively). An increased risk, significant at the conventional 5 per cent level, was not demonstrated in animals neutered before, vs after, first heat (relative risk: 3·9, 95 per cent confidence interval: 0·8, 10·4), although the result was significant at the 10 per cent level. Removal of the cervix was not shown to be a risk factor in neutered dogs.