Californian Rabbit

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization

Gender: Female





Easy to handle


Activity level






Meat production


Fiber quality


Nina -Neglected and overweight


Pennsylvania, United States

Posted Jan 07, 2014

Nina was a beautiful Californian rabbit that I fostered for two years through a rabbit rescue I volunteered with for several years. She came to the rescue weighing in at 12lbs. For her breed and size she should have only weighed 7lbs. Five pounds may not sound like a lot of weight to lose but it was 45% of her body weight. She could not walk and had horrible pressure sores on the bottom of her hocks. She had no personality when I first got her. I set up a free run area for her in my garage. She was fed two fresh salads daily and none of the commercial junk sold in pet stores. Within 2 months she was down to her ideal weight of 7lbs and her personality started to shine through. She was initially very skittish and afraid of people. With a lot of patience, she gradually became friendlier to the point where, if I sat on the floor she would come up and nudge my hand to scratch her ears. She would also try to climb in my lap. She liked to be held but was not too fond of being picked up as is typical for most rabbits. I tried to bond her with my two males but she did not get along with them and did not really like other rabbits.

Health-wise, Californians are typically very hearty. Nina had arthritis in her spine and back, probably due to her obesity and previous living conditions. It eventually caused problems with her being able to use the litter box and she would urinate on herself. She also had the misfortune of getting a piece of hay stuck in her eye. It caused an ulcer that would not heal. We used several different drops including those made from her own blood serum. In addition she had tear duct draining problems. She had three holes in her heart and a murmur that resulted in her having to be on enalapril for life. Her eye issues and arthritis got to the point of causing her so much pain and discomfort that she stopped eating. At this point I was having to take her to the vet every few days and the stress was becoming too much for her. I sadly opted to euthanize. She was a wonderful rabbit and I miss her everyday. She was very docile and calm unlike the smaller breeds. If children are going to be included in the care of the new family rabbit, a Californian would be a good rabbit to adopt.

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