A Barrie veterinarian is sounding the alarm after a spike in confirmed cases of a potentially deadly bacterial disease that attacks dogs.

Allandale Veterinary Hospital has had upwards of five cases of leptospirosis in the last couple of weeks. The disease, commonly found in dogs, has several symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

Dr. Elaine Murphy says dogs get infected when they're exposed to water sources or grass that's contaminated with urine from wildlife animals.

“It is uncommon that we are seeing so many cases of it considering we have not seen it in the past," she says,

Murphy says the best way to keep your dog from contracting leptospirosis is to keep your pets away from stagnant waters like puddles found in dog parks.

"We certainly do recommend vaccinating against leptospirosis. If we catch it early and we can treat it early, the prognosis is very good."

Without treatment it can cause kidney failure or even death.

The disease can also be passed on to humans. Dr. Ian Cameron in Ottawa got it from an infected dog he was treating 17 years ago.

"It quickly accelerated to this back pain, which was referred from my kidney being infected by the bacteria."

Cameron hopes people will see just how rapidly the illness can not only affect dogs, but people too.