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[1] or craniopharyngiomas[2].

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.

A tentative diagnosis can be established by imaging (usually MRI) which may reveal a pituitary mass. Blood test may show abnormally low GnRH, LH and testosterone blood levels. Definitive diagnosis requires fine-needle biopsy of pituitary or exploratory craniotomy.

Other causes of clinical symptoms include hypothyroidism and hypoadrenocorticism[3].

Treatment usually requires hypophysectomy.

Physical signs usually resolve following surgery, although diagnosis is usually made in late stages of disease, and prognosis may be guarded in such cases.


  1. Saunders LZ et al (1951) Diabetes insipidus and adiposogenital syndrome in a dog due to an infundibuloma. Cornell Vet 41(4):445-458
  2. Saunders, LZ & Rickard, CG (1952) Craniopharyngioma in a dog with apparent adiposogenital syndrome and diabetes insipidus. Cornell Vet 42(4):490-495
  3. Greco DS (2012) Pituitary deficiencies. Top Companion Anim Med 27(1):2-7