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It sounds like the combination of things took him over his threshold. Every dog has a different threshold level and different things that can bring them over that level. Often a combination of factors can bring the dog over threshold more quickly because they all add together. So while one or two factors might not cause a reaction, having multiple things happen at once might.
It sounds like the fact that new/different people were handling him may have been a big part of the problem. I would suggest working (slowly) on training him to accept handling from people calmly. It is important that he allow this, as you found out, because he will need to be handled for medical care and other situations as well. I would also recommend buying a muzzle and teaching him to accept it and be calm when wearing it. A basket muzzle is best because it will allow him to pant and breathe normally.
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