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Was the 125-pound dog who killed 4-year-old injected with steroids?

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Police continue to investigate the dog who killed 4-year-old Mia Derouen last week in Houma, Lousiana, and want to know if the dog had been given steroids, according to an article published today on KHOU.com. The dog, who apparently went on a rampage killing the little girl and injuring the mother, was described by officers on the scene as a "monster" who took a dozen bullets from police to kill.

Houma Police Chief Todd Duplantis told KHOU that tests for steroids have been ordered from a lab in a different state. Duplantis said that the mother of the child and the mother's boyfriend have stopped answering questions from the police about the incident.

What is known is that the dog, Niko, was two years old, and was in the home with a second dog, a female named Khloe who was approximately six months old. Reports indicate that the mother and child were watching TV when Niko attacked without warning. The mother managed to get the little girl away from the dog, and they took refuge in a bedroom, while the dog raged outside the door. They were unable to leave the bedroom, and the mother handed 4-year-old Mia to paramedics through the bedroom window.

Police ended up shooting Niko at least a dozen times before he was killed. Niko injured the mother severely enough for her to require treatment at the hospital.

Why did Niko, who was reported as being a pit bull, weigh 125 pounds when pit bull weights usually don't exceed 80 pounds? Although the dog was said to be a pit bull, other reports indicate that he was an American Bully, which is a different breed and which may help account for the size. Police are still investigating whether the dog was abused, and are also considering the possibility that the dog was injected with steroid.

Khloe, the female dog who isn't much more than a puppy, did not show any signs of aggression nor did she participate in the attack. Khloe is also being tested to see if she has been given any performance enhancing substances as well.

Niko was also tested for rabies; those tests indicated that he did not have rabies.

Chief Duplantis said a decision has not yet been made as to whether the mother or boyfriend will be charged in connection with Mia's death.

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