As a detective with a keen eye for detail, I immediately began examining the crossword clue. ‘Canine affliction‘ indicated that the answer was related to dogs and some sort of ailment. My first inclination was to think of common dog diseases such as rabies or distemper, but the word count and letter placements did not match up. However, the word ‘canine‘ also brought to mind other issues dogs can face, including skin conditions. This led me to the answer ‘MANGE‘, a skin disease caused by parasitic mites that can afflict dogs and other animals. The word’s five letters and placement matched perfectly with the crossword, confirming my suspicion. Using my powers of deduction and attention to detail, I was able to crack the case and solve the mystery of the crossword clue.