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Nursing assessment is currently under–utilised in many veterinary practices. One of the primary roles of the veterinary nurse is to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate care based on a structured and thorough nursing assessment. Much of the information regarding the normal routine of the animal may be obtained from the owner and this initial contact with the owner by the nurse can ultimately improve client relations with the practice. The nursing assessment then leads to the creation of an informed care plan which ensures the animal's welfare is not compromised during hospitalisation.