Are vsd's usually caught early in life?

Yes. A vsd is almost always associated with a heart murmur from blood flowing through the defect. This murmur is present by the time of the first well child visit after birth.
If large. There are 4 basic types of vsd. If large defect and without associated right ventricular outflow obstruction, symptomatic early in life. Failure to thrive and pulmonary oedema force early diagnosis and repair. Sometimes evident 2-3 weeks post partum when pulmonary vascular resistance tends to decrease increasing the shunt fraction. Early repair by 2y/o goal. Prevent eisenmenger syndrome.