Frohlich's adiposogenital syndrome

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Frohlich's adiposogenital syndrome is a rare endocrine disease of dogs associated with hypothalamic disease due to a mass-effect within the sella turcica due to pituitary adenomas, pituitary adenocarcinomas, infundibulomas or craniopharyngiomas.

Clinically affected dogs present with feminization syndrome characterized by small atrophied genitals, obesity and mental depression due to decreased production of gonadotrophin releasing hormone.

Secondary diabetes insipidus may also be observed[1].

A tentative diagnosis can be established by imaging (usually MRI) which may show a pituitary mass, and demonstration of abnormally low GnRH, LH and testosterone blood levels.

A definitive diagnosis requires fine-needle biopsy of pituitary or exploratory craniotomy.

Other causes of clinical symptoms include hypothyroidism and hypoadrenocorticism[2].

Treatment usually requires hypophysectomy. Physically signs usually resolve following surgery.


  1. Saunders, LZ & Rickard, CG (1952) Craniopharyngioma in a dog with apparent adiposogenital syndrome and diabetes insipidus. Cornell Vet 42(4):490-495
  2. Greco DS (2012) Pituitary deficiencies. Top Companion Anim Med 27(1):2-7