A Nova Scotia woman whose dog almost died after coming in contact with a rare infection has started a GoFundMe page to help cover the $6,000 in veterinarian bills.

Katie Doucette brought her dog Diesel to the vet last week after noticing he wasn’t himself. She later discovered he contracted leptospirosis, a debilitating infection that can be found in some wildlife.

While it doesn't attack those animals, it can be fatal for dogs. It also can be contagious for humans.

“I can't let him lick me. If he does, I have to wash right away or if I get in contact with his pee, I should be wearing gloves,” says Doucette. “I spray bleach everywhere he pees just to kill anything if there is anything, just to be safe.”

Diesel was lethargic and docile on Friday, and was still a bit jaundiced even after almost a week of being in the Metro Animal Emergency Clinic. He’s lost about 10 pounds and doesn’t quite have his appetite back yet, but Doucete is just happy he’s alive.

“We were pretty emotional. He comes out the door, flying out the door, jumps up on me. It was a magical moment,” she says.

Veterinarians say they usually see fewer than 10 cases of leptospirosis a summer, but this year it's been closer to 50. Some dogs haven't survived. Vets suspect it could be because of the prolonged, warmer weather we're seeing this year.

Doucette has set up a crowdfunding campaign to try and recoup some of the costs. She's hoping to raise enough to also give back to the vets, who she credits with saving Diesel's life.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.