CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Charlottesville veterinarian is urging pet owners to vaccinate their dogs for leptospirosis. This comes after a dog recently died from the disease after swimming in the Rivanna River.

Leptospirosis in dogs is most commonly contracted from contaminated water or soil. It's often deadly, but the vaccine is not considered a core vaccine, like rabies and the annual distemper shot that are required by vets.

However, if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors and goes swimming or hiking, Charlottesville Veterinary Clinic suggests your dog get the vaccine.

"No vaccine is perfect, but leptospirosis vaccine is very very effective, and I would tell you that if my dog was vaccinated I wouldn't worry about my dog swimming," said Marty Betts, veterinarian.

Leptosporosis is a two-part vaccine: The first shot costs around $20, and a second shot must be given two to three weeks after. After the first year, an annual booster is required.

Charlottesville Veterinary Hospital wants to remind you, it's important to discuss all vaccines - both core and noncore - with your vet to make an informed decision about what to give your pet.