Modified Live Virus (MLV) Vaccines for Dogs

There are two different types of vaccines for dogs: inactivated vaccines, also known as killed vaccines, and modified live virus, or MLV, vaccines. In an MLV vaccine a weakened strain of the agent that causes a disease is injected into the puppy's immune system to stimulate an immune response.

Advantages of MLV Vaccines for Puppies

  • Creates a faster immune response
  • Stronger and more lasting protection
  • Cost less than killed vaccines
  • Usually only requires a single dose
  • Can be administered through the nose

Disadvantages of MLV Vaccines

  • May activate the disease it is supposed to vaccinate against in dogs with poor immune systems
  • May cause abortions in pregnant animals
  • Not suitable for dogs with compromised immune systems due to disease or medical treatment
  • Most veterinarians recommend a combination of vaccines for puppy vaccinations, with both inactivated and modified live vaccines. Vaccination schedules differ among vets, so be sure to check with your chosen vet about when to vaccinate your puppy.