An increased number of cases of a dangerous and potentially deadly infection in dogs has VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists telling NBC Bay Area that dog owners should be particularly vigilant as wet weather continues. That illness, leptospirosis, or lepto, occurs as bacteria in excrement and urine from wildlife — like skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and rodents — and can linger in puddles, of which there are more this wet season.

Lepto symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite, and if untreated, dogs can die of kidney failure from the infection. VCA encourages dog owners to bring any animals in that display these signs, and appear alarmed to have fielded five documented cases in two months — typically, two cases of leptospirosis annually is normal.

One dog owner who lost her pet Australian cattle mix dog, Gertie, to the illness told Hoodlinethat by the time she got in to the vet, Gertie was in renal failure and was euthanized. "I didn’t even know [a vaccine] existed,” the owner, Jeannine Giordian, told Hoodline. "The part that makes it most horrible is that it was preventable,” she added.“Everyone should know that this is a disease that’s out there.”

According to veterinarian Elyse Hammer, it's partially on dog owners to speak up to their vets. "It is important to bring up to your veterinarian that your dog is out at the park or swims a lot, as these lifestyle components increase exposure to leptospirosis,” Hammer tells Hoodline.

Related: Local Dog Owners Unleash 'WoofieLeaks' Documents Alleging National Park Service Anti-Canine Bias