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Ancylostoma caninum male and female, 400X w.m.
Ancylostoma caninum is a species of nematode known as a hookworm, which principally infects the small intestine of dogs. The result of A. caninum infection ranges from asymptomatic cases to death of the dog; better nourishment, increasing age, prior A. caninum exposure or vaccination are all linked to improved survival.Other hosts include carnivores such as wolves, foxes and cats with a small number of cases having been reported in humans. A. caninum females are typically 14-16 millimetres (0.55?0.63 in) long and 0.5 mm (0.02 in) wide, while the males are smaller at 10-12 mm (0.39-0.47 in) in length and 0.36 mm (0.01 in) in width. On males a copulatory bursa exists which, during copulation, attaches the female via ~0.9 mm long spine-like spicules positioned on three muscular rays. As with other nematodes, the sperm lack flagella. The copulatory bursa is a unique feature of Strongylida members, thus making it a useful means for identifying members of this suborder; it is also used to distinguish members within the suborder due to differences in bursa appearance between species. The vulva of A. caninum females is located at the boundary of the second and final thirds of the body.