I experienced an emergency situation with my dog over the weekend. The puppy swallowed some insecticide that I left out to use in my garden. I rushed the dog to a vet and she was able to save the dog's life. I am nervous that this might happen again and I would like more knowledge on first aid for dogs.

If you are lucky, you will go through life without ever having to deal with a dog that is bleeding or one that has stopped breathing. Maybe you'll never see a dog that has been poisoned or burned, or one that has a severe bone fracture. But the odds are against it. Dealing with an emergency situation properly requires knowledge and training.The only program that I am aware of is offered by Salt Lake County Animal Services education program, called the First Aid for Animals Workshop. This class provides first aid techniques for dogs, cats, birds and some larger animals.

The workshop begins on October 15 and lasts for five weeks. It is held each Monday night from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Salt Lake County Government Center. The cost is $30, which includes handout material and a first aid book.

Material to be covered includes preventive health care, CPR, Heimlich maneuver, artificial respiration, handling of an injured pet, abcesses, broken bones, bleeding, shock, parasites, hairballs, snakebites, porcupine quills, etc.

The purpose of first aid is to assist the pet owner with information in an emergency when it is not possible to get the services of a veterinarian immediately. Accidents occur at unexpected times and in remote places. Knowledge of what to do until you reach the doctor may save your pet's life.

First aid is not intended as a treatment and must be followed up with a visit to your veterinarian, no matter how trivial the incident may seem.

- If you have a question about health, behavior problems, laws, etc., regarding wild or domestic animals, please write Leslie Kelson-Probert, Salt Lake County Animal Services, 511 W. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84123 or call her at 264-2247.