A contagious and dangerous disease has been contracted by a dog in Sooke, prompting a warning from a local veterinary clinic.

Sooke Veterinary Clinic issued a warning on its website Thursday saying it treated a dog with leptospirosis last week, marking the first confirmed case of the disease to originate in Sooke.

It said leptospirosis has been slowly spreading through the Greater Victoria region, surviving in places like bodies of stagnant water.

It's passed through an infected animal's urine, and once exposed, dogs and other animals become ill with symptoms including vomiting, dehydration, fever, bleeding disorders, lack of appetite, diarrhea and in some cases, acute death.

"More subtle signs can include inflammation almost anywhere in the body (nose, eye, lungs) and liver damage. Not all exposures cause significant disease, but we cannot predict which will," the clinic said.

A laboratory test is required to confirm the presence of the bacteria and caught early, it can be killed easily.

The disease is also able to be transmitted to humans through infected animals' urine, though the clinic said such cases are rare in Canada.

Vaccinations against leptospirosis are available at veterinary clinics, which must be followed by a booster shot within three to four weeks.

".It is one of the more irritating vaccines, sometimes causing transient pain, swelling or other reactions, but only in 1.5% of cases. Discuss with your veterinarian if your pet should be vaccinated," the clinic said.

It's setting up a leptospirosis clinic next Thursday, Nov. 15, so owners of pets requiring the vaccination will be able to get it.