Background: The importance of communication skills in veterinary medicine is increasingly recognised. Appropriate communication skills towards the client are of utmost importance in both companion animal practice and production animal field and consultancy work. The need for building a relationship with the client, alongside developing a structure for the consultation is widely recognised and applies to both types of veterinary practice. Results: Veterinary advisory practice in production animal medicine is, however, characterised by a more complex communication on different levels. While the person-orientated communication is a permanent process between veterinarian and client with a rather personal perspective and defines the roles of interaction, the problemorientated communication deals with emerging difficulties; the objective is to solve an acute health problem. The solution - orientated communication is a form of communication in which both veterinarian and client address longstanding situations or problems with the objective to improve herd health and subsequently productivity performance. All three forms of communication overlap. Conclusions: Based on this model, it appears useful for a veterinary practice to offer both a curative and an advisory service, but to keep these two separated when deemed appropriate. In veterinary education, the strategies and techniques necessary for solution orientated communication should be included in the teaching of communication skills.