I'm with you on the defensive strategy. I use my Anub on the dragon, Flayer on critter, and Pterrordax on aquatic (let's not get into Jade Owl vs. Pterrordax here
Usually my Flayer mows down the critter and has a few moves on the dragon. I deflect (I miss reflect too), then rampage until death, then sub in my Anub and immediately cast Sandstorm. Both losses, the dragon's first cast did 924 dmg (critical obviously). It's just the entire fight was tougher, as in not bad RNG, but Aki's pets seemed buffed.
Also, just finished the Pandaren Air Spirit battle. I solo with my Emerald Proto Drake so I can level a lowbie, and between (in my mind increased) dodges and his heals, that fight seemed buffed too. Lost the first fight after 78 rounds, then downed him after 68 rounds the second. Again, the trainer pets, especially the Spirit in this case, seem buffed to me.
Thanks for the response, hoping a few others weigh in here, so I know if it's just in my head or if I am justifiably outraged.