A few weeks ago our older Dam Topeka went into heat. Her last litter was a bit more difficult, so that as well as her age made us decide to spay her.
We waited until she had another heat cycle, and then spayed her.
Some things to keep in mind when spaying an older Dam - especially a Boxer:
1. Boxers are very sensitive to an anesthetic called Acepromazine.
2. Older Dams have a harder time going under anesthetics. Talk to you vet about your options.
We chose to use gas instead of the anesthetic. She did extremely well and had her appetite back the following morning.
As crazy as it gets when a Dam goes into heat, especially when all your dogs live in the house with you. It gets even crazier when you have 2 go into heat at the same time.
Topeka went into heat and about a week later Phoenix did too. (Usually one female in heat will bring others into heat). This is the first time we've had to deal with them both going into heat together.
Since we have our Boxers living in the house with us full time, we do not have outdoor heated kennels to separate them. This is our choice though, as we like having them with us instead of in kennels.
We use the Pet Lodge collapsible crate - in MN you can get these at Fleet Farm. They are made of wire and pretty heavy duty. My favorite feature is the option of a side door or end door.
Dogs are in heat an average of 21 days. So to handle the 21 days of separation, we have established a good routine. Cairo (our Sire) and the Dam in heat are rotated ever 3-4 hours, one in the kennel and then one loose so they have the opportunity to relieve themselves and get food and water.
This works pretty well for us, but be warned a Dam in heat and a male will do all they can to get together, so we also keep one in the kennel and then closed the gate to our downstairs family rooms and kept the other one down there. Otherwise they like to "tease" eachother.