One reason it is important to see a vet that is well versed in small mammals is because of the properly sized implements they have for the smaller mammals. Keep in mind if the vet states they are small animal vets this means dogs/cats and not horses etc... this doesnt pertain to rodents, reptiles or avian vets. Often they use the word POCKET PET which is pretty frowned on in the exotic vet world. Pocket pets almost make it sound as if the animal is cheap and replacable and almost not worth spending money on since they are temporary pets with short life spans. In fact, calling a rat a pocket pet is almost insulting if you think about it! The proper term is small mammal or exotic pet. Period.
Anyhow, the last thing you want is for your rat to have something used on them that isnt meant for their small size. An exotic vet or one that is serious about treating small mammals will have on hand the proper implements starting with the proper enclosures needed for respiratory distress. These cages are enclosed and are used to nebulize the small mammal and also have oxygen piped in. The temperature is controlled at all times.
Note the glass enclosures on the far top right.
Another ICU enclosure, models vary.
Small mammal scale
Clear induction chamber used for anesthesia or O2 for small mamals.
To the right: Rodent anesthesia work station
To the left: Small mammal doppler system
To the right: Rat pack emergency supply kit
To the left: rodent dental tools
These are just a few examples of properly sized implements that are very important to the proper care your small rat receives from their Vet!