Some veterinarians in Nova Scotia are warning dog owners to be on the lookout if their pet is acting strange -- it could be a rare infection.

The bacteria is known as “Lepto” or Leptospirosis, which infects the liver or kidneys and can be fatal for animals if it progresses. Symptoms of Lepto include vomiting, increased drinking, diarrhea and jaundice.

One clinic in Dartmouth told CTV Atlantic it usually sees about 10 cases each summer, but has recently seen 40 to 50. Veterinarians are putting the blame on unseasonably warm weather.

“Get (your pet) checked,” Katie Doucette, whose dog Diesel has been in the hospital for five days with a bout of Lepto, told CTV Atlantic Friday.

“I can't stress it enough. I wish I didn't wait the extra day.”

Diesel’s vet bill is up to about $3,500 so far, Doucette says.

Humans should be careful around their best friends if it looks like their pets might be infected. Lepto is zoonotic, meaning it can spread from animals to humans.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, humans infected with Lepto can experience two phases of symptoms. During the first phase, humans typically experience fever, vomiting and diarrhea and during the second, more severe phase, the patient can experience kidney or liver failure.

With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown