Some veterinarians in the Maritimes are warning pet owners of a sharp hike in the number of cases of Leptospirosis in the region.

Playful Paws Daycare owner Heather Brown says she had a client that informed her their dog came in contact with the bacteria. As a precaution, she closed for two days.

“We could come in, decontaminate, do some disinfecting of our indoor or outdoor areas,” says Brown. “We do not feel that it came from our facility where we don't have any standing water, however, we always put the safety of our staff, our clients and the dogs first.”

Leptospirosis comes from a bacteria that can be found in some wildlife. While it doesn't attack those animals, it can be fatal for dogs.

“They're having a major epidemic right now,” Brown says.

Dog owner Katie Doucette knows of the bacteria all too well. She noticed her dog Diesel wasn't himself over the weekend, but thought it was a bout of the flu.

“The obvious clue was he was jaundiced, his ears were a little yellow, they're still a little yellow now. His lips were yellow,” she says.

Doucette brought him to the Metro Animal Emergency Clinic that afternoon, where Diesel was diagnosed with the debilitating condition.

“When I think about that I almost lost him on Monday, I broke,” she says.  “If you notice your dog’s off by just a little bit, pay that vet fee, get them checked. I can't stress it enough. I wish I didn't wait the extra day.”

Vomiting, increased drinking, diarrhea and jaundice are all symptoms of Lepto. Brown says she usually sees less than 10 cases a summer, but that’s recently increased to 40 to 50. Veterinarians tell CTV News they suspect it could be because of the prolonged, warmer weather we're seeing this year.

Diesel has been in the hospital for five days now and is improving. It’s a welcomed sight for Doucette, who says you can't put a price on your pets.

“It could just be the flu bug, but it's worth $100 for a vet visit,” she says.

Vets are reiterating Doucette's plea, asking pet owners to seek medical attention if you suspect your pet is feeling at all under the weather.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.