The omasums of 30 healthy cows and 55 cows with various gastrointestinal disorders (10 with left displacement and eight with right displacement of the abomasum, 10 with abomasal volvulus, 10 with traumatic reticuloperitonitis, nine with ileus of the small intestines and eight with reticulo-omasal stenosis) were examined ultrasonographically on the right side of the body with a 3·5 MHz linear transducer. The dorsal and ventral margins of the omasum and its size in the fifth to 11th intercostal spaces were determined. Generally, the ultrasonographic appearance of the omasum did not differ between the healthy and abnormal cows. The omasum appeared as a semicircle, and the omasal wall closest to the transducer was visible as a thick echogenic line. In a few of the abnormal cows, the omasal laminae were visible and the omasum appeared to have motility. In the cows with left and right displacement of the abomasum and abomasal volvulus, the dorsal margin of the omasum was significantly further from the dorsal midline in some intercostal spaces than in the healthy cows. In the cows with left displacement of the abomasum, the ventral margin of the omasum was significantly further from the dorsal midline in the 7th intercostal space than in the healthy cows. In the cows with reticulo-omasal stenosis, traumatic reticuloperitonitis and ileus of the small intestine, the ventral margin of the omasum was significantly closer to the dorsal midline in some intercostal spaces than in the healthy cows. The mean (sd) size of the omasum in the healthy cows varied from 16·3 (1·5) cm to 56·9 (10·0) cm, depending on the intercostal space, and the omasum was significantly smaller in some intercostal spaces in the cows with reticulo-omasal stenosis, right displacement of the omasum, abomasal volvulus and ileus of the small intestine.